Thursday, 17 April 2014

Questions (225)

Robert Troy


225. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will ensure voluntary youth organisations are involved in the roll-out of the youth guarantee. [18338/14]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country by the voluntary youth sector. The work of the voluntary youth work sector, in the provision of these services, has a significant contribution to make to the Government’s jobs agenda including the Action Plan for Jobs and Pathways to Work and the implementation of the Youth Guarantee in Ireland. Many youth organisations are working closely with relevant Government Departments and delivering measures to implement the Guarantee for young unemployed people. My Department, in consultation with the youth sector, has developed a ‘Youth Employability Initiative’ which involves the expansion of proven youth work initiatives that increase the employability of marginalised young people in the 15 to 24 age group. It aims to target the hardest to reach young people who are at risk of becoming NEET (i.e. not in employment, education or training) for intensive support to prevent unemployment. The development and expansion of the Youth Employability Initiative is a priority for me, should additional resources become available to my Department for youth services. In this regard, my Department continues to make efforts to secure the necessary resources for the initiative including exploring the potential of the initiative for ESF funding and is liaising with the relevant Government Departments in this regard. My Department will develop a new Youth Strategy in 2014. This Strategy will have its basis in the Children and Young Person’s Policy Framework - Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures which is being launched this week. The Youth Strategy will focus on ensuring greater coordination in policy and provision across Government for young people aged 10 – 24 years and will aim to be responsive to current and emerging issues such as youth employment. My Department continues to work closely with the Departments of Education and Skills, Social Protection and Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, to identify in what ways, the youth sector can contribute to shared policy objectives to address youth employment and the Youth Guarantee and in the context of the Action Plan for Jobs.