The British Youth Council is delighted to welcome new guidance from the government to local authorities on supporting young people in their local areas. The new guidance, which has been issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), is set to ensure young people have the services and activities they need in their local area.
The British Youth Council, alongside many of its sector partners at the Back Youth Alliance, has been lobbying for updated local authority guidance on provisions for young people since 2016. Research from the University of Northampton, Institute of Social Innovation and Impact found that over 85% of a young person’s waking hours are spent outside of school and formal education. It’s essential they have access to opportunities within this time that can help them achieve their potential.
The latest guidance from DCMS follows a 2022 government review of spending on out-of-school youth programmes, which found that youth services are a vital part of the response to the current challenges young people face. That review, as well as direct feedback from young people, highlighted the importance of prioritising regular clubs and activities, access to volunteering opportunities and experiences away from home.
The updated guidance will be coupled with funding to support councils to peer review other council offers.
Zara Khan, Chair of the British Youth Council said “This is hugely welcome news.
“Young people are passionate about the issues they face alongside their peers and their wider communities. The continuation of our funding to UK Youth Parliament and our wider youth voice activities is an important signal to young people that their voices matter.”
The national youth council is currently delivering a two-year programme thanks to DCMS funding, which will take young people’s views to the heart of decision-making in government, and build on the pilot delivered by the organisation from 2019. The pilot saw young people involved in policy development across the government, alongside new innovative ways to engage and consult young people digitally.