Sports Capital Programme Applications

Questions (323)

Willie Penrose

Question:

323. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when a decision will be made in relation to applications by Westmeath County Council (details supplied) for funding under the large-scale sports infrastructural fund; when funding will be given in order to allow the project to commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51010/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund opened for applications on 19th November 2018 and the closing date for receipt of applications was 17th April 2019.

An application has been made for funding towards the design of a Regional Sport Centre in Mullingar. That application is one of 72 applications that were received. Details of all applications received have been published on the Department's website. The detailed evaluation process has also been published on the Department's website.

As set out in this evaluation process, applicants were given an opportunity to provide corrected and amended documentation, where necessary, in support of applications. This part of the process is now complete and detailed assessment work of the applications has commenced. In view of the detailed information contained in each application I expect that it will be towards the end of this year before assessments are completed.

Civil Aviation Regulation

Questions (324)

Paul Kehoe

Question:

324. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the regulations that apply to civilian helipads. [51014/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has statutory responsibility for aviation safety regulation in Ireland, including the regulation of helicopter operations.

The IAA informed me that under the provisions of the Irish Aviation Authority (Aerodromes and Visual Ground Aids) Order, 2008, (S.I. No. 355 of 2008), a helicopter can operate from “any place where the aircraft may take off or land without undue hazard to persons or property and in respect of which the owner or occupier shall have given permission.” The landing area and surrounding environment must be suitable and appropriate to the size and type of helicopter being operated. This responsibility rests with the helicopter operator, with the exception that where that place is of an elevated construction, located on the roof of a building or a structure, it shall also be licensed by the Irish Aviation Authority under this Order for such use by that helicopter. Elevated helipads have more stringent requirements and require specific approvals from the Authority. This Order allows the Authority to impose conditions on or prohibit operation of a helicopter to a site.

With regard to civil helicopter operations to any proposed heliport, the prescribed characteristics and obstacle limitation surfaces to be provided for both ground level or elevated heliports, including normal associated facilities and technical services, are contained in International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS), Aerodromes, Annex 14 Heliports; and ICAO Heliport Manual Document 9261-AN/903.

Public Service Obligation Levy Data

Questions (325)

Peter Burke

Question:

325. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the public services obligation subvention for 2020 and for each of the past 15 years by mode of transport and recipient; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51048/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for securing the provision of public transport services by way of Public Services Obligation (PSO) contracts in respect of services that are socially necessary but commercially unviable.

The funding of those services comprises both the fares paid by passengers and the subvention payments from the Exchequer. The main purpose of the subvention payment is to meet the gap between the income from fares and the cost of operating services. In 2020, the Irish Exchequer will provide just over €300 million in subvention for public service obligation (PSO) transport services and Rural Transport Local Link services.

The PSO funding provided to Iarnród Éireann, Bus Éireann and Bus Átha Cliath from 2005 - 2009 can be seen in the following table.

IÉ (€000)

BÉ (€000)

BÁC (€000)

2005

179,991

25,199

64,900

2006

188,716

26,459

69,845

2007

189,910

36,595

80,078

2008

181,152

41,846

85,629

2009

170,624

49,365

83,199

Since 2010 my Department no longer pays subvention for public transport services directly to operators. The award of Public Service Obligation (PSO) funding falls under the independent statutory remit of the NTA. The allocations to the companies are decided by the NTA in exercise of its statutory mandate and, in accordance with the various contract arrangements that it has in place with PSO service providers.

I have therefore referred the part of the Deputy’s questions which relates to 2010 onwards to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Public Transport Fares

Questions (326)

Peter Burke

Question:

326. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated cost of removing fares for children up to 12, 14, 16 and 18 years of age, respectively on all PSO funded transport; the expected increased current and capital expenditure requirements to respond to increased demand as a result in each scenario to ensure no diminution of service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51049/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the regulation of fares in relation to public passenger transport services. I have, therefore, referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Sports Funding

Questions (327)

Tom Neville

Question:

327. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the current and capital expenditure for sport for the past 15 years and for 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51052/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The total budget allocated for sport in my Department's Vote is set out in the Revised Estimates for each of the fifteen years up to and including 2019. Each of the annual publications is available at https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/e20037-revised-estimates/?referrer=/en/rev/

In relation to 2020, a total of €125.39 million has been allocated for sport in the Budget Estimates. The amount allocated for current expenditure is €78.3 million and the capital allocation is €47.09 million.

Sports Funding

Questions (328)

Tom Neville

Question:

328. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the level of sporting expenditure required to meet the ambition set out in the national sports policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51053/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

Action 43 of the National Sports Policy 2018-2027 sets out the Government's ambition to increase investment in sport over the 10-year lifetime of the policy, to reach an annual level that exceeds €220 million by 2027. This figure is approximately double the funding allocated to sport in the 2018 Budget.

The Government has clearly demonstrated its commitment to achieving this doubling of funding, with increases in the funding allocated to sport in both the 2019 and 2020 Budgets. This increased investment is showing a real return, with improved performances by our high performance athletes and a marked increase in participation across the population, including in hard-to-reach communities. As the Deputy will be aware, just this week a further €4.2 million in funding support has been allocated from the Dormant Accounts Fund for sports programmes throughout the country, with the objective of increasing participation in sport and physical activity in disadvantaged communities and by people with disabilities.

I am confident that the Government's investment in sport will continue to deliver a real impact and that in the coming years, there will be further increases in funding for sport with a view to achieving the ambition set out in the National Sports Policy.

Sports Funding

Questions (329)

Tom Neville

Question:

329. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the expenditure on high performance sport in each of the years 2017 to 2019; the anticipated expenditure for 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51054/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

High performance sport is an important component of the National Sports Policy 2018-2027, published in July 2018. I am fully committed to achieving the investment aims set out in that policy.

The level of State investment in high performance sport since 2017 is as follows:

Year

State investment

2017

€11,700,000

2018

€12,,400,000

2019 (projected)

€13,500,000

An additional €2 million expenditure allocation has been allocated in the Estimates for 2020, which will assist preparations by Team Ireland for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games next year.

Youth Services Funding

Questions (330)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

330. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs when the 2020 funding allocations for youth organisations under the youth service grant scheme will be made and communicated to beneficiaries; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50719/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Youth Service Grant Scheme (YSGS) provides funding, on an annual basis, to 30 national and major regional voluntary organisations to support the provision of youth services nationwide. The continued funding of voluntary youth organisations through the Scheme is intended to ensure the emergence, promotion, growth and development of youth organisations with distinctive philosophies and programmes aimed at the social education of young people.

The funding allocations for 2020 to all organisations, including YSGS funded organisations, are currently being finalised within my Department.

My Department is currently processing the funding renewal applications received on behalf of the national youth organisations. Every effort will be made to complete this process as soon as possible and all youth organisations in receipt of funding for 2020 will receive notification of their funding allocation at the earliest possible date. An update to this effect was provided to representatives from the youth organisations involved in the Youth Services Grant Scheme at recent meeting on 2nd December.

Youth Services Funding

Questions (331)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

331. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs when she plans to launch the new targeted youth funding scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50720/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I am currently working closely with Government colleagues and the officials in my Department to complete the final phase of preparation of the targeted youth funding scheme, with a view to launching the scheme before Christmas.

The targeted youth funding scheme will streamline and strengthen four existing, overlapping schemes.

The new scheme is designed to support for young people who are marginalised, disadvantaged, or vulnerable and whose outcomes fall short of general population outcomes. It aims to provide services that support young people to develop the personal and social skills required to improve their life chances, including with respect to their health, education, employment and social connectedness.

The design of this scheme has been the subject of considerable collaboration with the youth sector over the last five years. Once the scheme has been launched, applications will then be opened in 2020, with a view to having the scheme fully operational before year-end 2020.

Climate Action Plan

Questions (332)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

332. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the proposed special fund for youth action on climate justice announced on 9 October 2019; the objectives of the fund; the allocation to the fund; the timetable for the establishment of the fund; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50721/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

As Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, I am proud of how young people have demonstrated passion, leadership and empowerment in amplifying the conversation on climate change on the national and international stage.

At Dáil na nÓg, two topics were chosen for the two–year work programme of the Comhairle na nÓg National Executive, namely:

- more climate conscious transport solutions, and

- an action plan to reduce single use plastics.

My Department will work closely with the Executive to ensure their work will have a lasting impact on the implementation of the Government’s Climate Action Plan.

Additionally, my Department, in close collaboration with the Department for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, will establish a National Youth Council for Climate Action and Climate Justice as well as a new special Fund for Youth Action on Climate Justice. This will provide more channels for direct engagement between young people and decision-makers across Government and beyond. I will personally ensure, with the help of my officials, that young people will be supported in a long-term engagement to continue to work closely with decision-makers on Climate Action and Climate Justice. I strongly believe in supporting young people in this endeavour by giving them the opportunity to shape and influence future policy.

Proposals on the establishment of both the Council and the Fund are currently under development, and I hope to be able to provide the Deputy with further details in the near future.

Youth Services

Questions (333)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

333. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the implementation of the national quality standards framework for youth projects and services; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50722/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The National Quality Standards Framework (NQSF) is primarily a support and development tool for youth work. It provides a structured framework for organisations to assess, indicate and enhance their work and supports organisations to articulate their youth work practice using a common language.

The NQSF operates on a 3-yearly cycle and was introduced nationally on a phased and incremental basis commencing in September 2010. Support and guidance for local youth work services is provided by the local Education and Training Board (ETB) Youth/Liaison Officer. National youth work organisations will be supported by a NQSF Standards Officer.

NQSF for Youth Work is currently being considered in the context of the new Targeted Youth Funding Scheme.

National Youth Strategy

Questions (334)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

334. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans for a new national youth strategy when the current strategy comes to an end in 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50723/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The National Youth Strategy has its basis in Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures – the National Policy Framework for Children & Young People 2014-2020. It supports stakeholders in making best use of the implementation structures established for Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures.

Currently, the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures implementation team are working on the 2019 Annual Report which will be published in 2020. Children and young people are being consulted as part of this process.

The development of the next National Policy Framework for Children & Young People is being discussed within the Department. The National Youth Strategy, which is based on the National Framework, is part of this discussion.

At a recent event with National Youth Organisations that I attended (2nd December 2019), there was significant positive discussion with key stakeholders about what should be carried over into the new strategy. It was recognised at the meeting that any new strategy must have specific and measurable targets, with clear accountability and time-frames, especially given the fact that many actions will require cross-departmental collaboration.

I look forward to progressing this important work in the year ahead.

Children and Young People’s Policy Framework

Questions (335)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

335. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the membership of the Children and Young People’s Policy Consortium; the number of meetings of the consortium in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the overall attendance record of each member since 2016; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50724/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Children and Young People’s Policy Consortium represents the keystone in the implementation infrastructure for Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People (2014 – 2020). The Consortium comprises high-level representation from Government departments and agencies, and key experts and representatives from a range of sectors and settings working with children and young people.

This infrastructure also includes the National Advisory Council, Comhairle na nÓg, EU Young Voices Group and the Children and Young People’s Services Committees (CYPSC) National Steering Group.

Members of the Consortium are tasked with overseeing and driving the effective implementation of Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures within their respective spheres of responsibility, across departments, agencies and sectors.

The Consortium is chaired by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and a Deputy Chair from the Department of the Taoiseach and meets three times a year (February, June, September).

To date there has been three meetings per year in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. The membership and attendance record for each Consortium member for the years 2016 - 2019 inclusive, is set out below.

Mar-16

Jun-16

Sep-16

Feb-17

Jun-17

Sep-17

Feb-18

Jun-18

Sep-18

Feb-19

Jun-19

Sep-19

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Advisory Council

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Department of Education and Skills

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Department of Health

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Department of Justice and Equality

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Department of the Taoiseach

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Apologies

Attended

Attended

Attended

CYPSC National Steering Group

Apologies

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Vacancy

County and City Management Association

Attended

Attended

Attended

Apologies

Apologies

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Attended

Attended

Apologies

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Tusla

Attended

Apologies

Attended

Apologies

Attended

Apologies

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Health Services Executive

Attended

Attended

Attended

Apologies

Attended

Attended

Attended

Apologies

Apologies

Attended

Attended

Attended

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Apologies

Attended

Apologies

Apologies

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Attended

Attended

Attended

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Attended

Apologies

Attended

Apologies

Attended

Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Apologies

Vacancy

Vacancy

Vacancy

Vacancy

Vacancy

Vacancy

Vacancy

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Apologies

Apologies

Attended

Attended

Attended

Attended

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Attended

Apologies

An Garda Síochána

Apologies

Apologies

Attended

Attended

Apologies

Attended

Apologies

Attended

Attended

Apologies

Attended

Attended

Department of Finance

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Vacancy

Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Apologies

Attended

Department of Heritage, Culture and Gaeltacht

Vacancy

Vacancy

Vacancy

Vacancy

Vacancy

Vacancy

Vacancy

Vacancy

Vacancy

Vacancy

Attended

Attended

National Youth Strategy

Questions (336)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

336. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the implementation of action No. 1.3 in the national youth strategy to identify ways in which arts, culture, sports and youth organisations can co-operate at a local level to enhance quality and developmental opportunities for young persons; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50725/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

Since the publication of the National Youth Strategy, my Department has worked towards creating quality opportunities for young people which include culture, art and sports.

Local Creative Youth Partnerships are supported in three selected Education and Training Board areas through Hub na NÓg and a dedicated Participation Officer. These opportunities are supported by my Department and the Creative Ireland Programmes for Youth.

My Department also supports an initiative of the National Youth Council of Ireland, the Youth Arts Programme which is dedicated to the development and advancement of youth arts in Ireland. It aims specifically to realise the potential of young people through good quality arts practice in the youth service and to develop appropriate policies and activities at local, regional and national level.

My Department also engages with inter-departmental strategies and groups, such as the Sports Leadership Group, to support developments to increase children and young people’s participation in exercise and sport.

National Youth Strategy

Questions (337)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

337. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the implementation of action No. 2.4 in the national youth strategy to strengthen co-operation between formal education and non-formal learning sectors to address early school leaving, including the use of flexible, youth-friendly approaches; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50726/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Deputy may be aware that I have taken on board the findings of the Value for Money and Policy Review of Youth Programmes 2014. I have prioritised the design and implementation of an integrated funding scheme as recommended by this Review, and following significant consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, I intend to progress the implementation of this Targeted Youth Funding Scheme in 2020.

This reform will provide an ongoing opportunity to identify need and to focus funding on those young people most in need of intervention, including disadvantaged and vulnerable young people who may be at risk of early school leaving. The support might include linking with local partners and bodies to this end.

National Youth Strategy

Questions (338)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

338. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the implementation of action No. 2.5 in the national youth strategy to develop a national system for the recognition of non-formal and informal learning in line with the EU Council recommendation in 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50727/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The recognition of learning outcomes, namely knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal and informal learning, can play an important role in enhancing employability and mobility.

In order to take steps in this direction, the National Youth Council Ireland was provided with funding to support the implementation of the Skills Summary project which provides a framework to better recognise the value and learning that young people gain by participating in youth work and volunteering.

Skills Summary is both a process and a product. As a process, it aims to support the learning of young people, with a particular focus on those young people who find academic learning challenging, and to help them map this learning to a set of soft skill competences. As a product, Skills Summary will support young people to articulate the crucial competencies they have acquired both for themselves and for potential future employers.

It is proposed that Skills Summary will gain national recognition by young people, youth organisations, volunteer involving organisations, employers and employer bodies.

National Youth Strategy

Questions (339)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

339. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the implementation of action No. 5.5 in the national youth strategy to increase young persons' political engagement through the promotion of voter education programmes and other initiatives; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50728/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

My Department engages in several democratic programmes to enable young people to be connected, respected and empowered to contribute to their world.

Nationally, Comhairle na nÓg (youth councils) give children and young people a voice in decision-making with regard to the development of local services and policies. They are recognised as the national structures for participation of children and young people in decision-making in all 31 local authorities. The Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund is overseen and administered by my Department.

The Youth Reform and Participation Unit within my Department, has responsibility for ensuring that children and young people have a voice in the design, delivery and monitoring of services and policies that affect their lives, at national and local level.

Internationally, my Department continues to engage with the EU Youth Dialogue, which is run by Young Voices in Ireland. This is a youth participation programme aiming to bring the youth voice to EU policy-making. Its main strength is the dialogue between young people, youth organisations and policy makers, as well as experts, researchers and other relevant civil society stakeholders. It serves as a forum for continuous joint reflection and consultation on the priorities, implementation and follow-up of European cooperation in the field of youth.

In addition, the National Youth Council Ireland has actively promoted the participation of young people in the electoral process for many years, and has organised campaigns to encourage and support young people to register to vote in all elections and referenda.

North/South Education and Training Standards

Questions (340)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

340. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the work of the North-South Education and Training Standards Committee for Youth Work; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50729/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The North South Education and Training Standards (NSETS) Committee for Youth Work, established in 2006, currently works to ensure and promote quality standards in the education and training of youth workers. This is done through a professional endorsement process based on a rigorous assessment of all aspects of programme content and delivery.

This professional endorsement represents a formal recognition by the youth work sector that programmes of study in youth work have met prescribed criteria and are fit-for-purpose.

NSETS currently endorse seven higher education programmes across Maynooth University, University College Cork, Dundalk IT and the University of Ulster. The Committee is processing new applications for endorsement from Blanchardstown TU, YouthLink/Moorland College and Galway Mayo IT.

Departmental Reviews

Questions (341)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

341. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the proposed restructuring of her Department; the timescale for same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50730/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

In the context of the continued delivery of the organisation's business objectives a decision was taken to conduct a review of the Department in 2019.

Following a tender competition in conjunction with the OGP, external consultants were engaged to examine the current organisational structure of the Department and to consider the need for an organisational design which would align the Department’s resources with its workloads and priorities now and into the future.

A comprehensive report with recommendations and an implementation plan was accepted by the Management Board of the Department and arrangements are being put in place to implement the recommendations, including the establishment of a Project Management Office. Full implementation is expected within a 15 month period.

Oireachtas Joint Committee Recommendations

Questions (342)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

342. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the action her Department has taken to date to implement the recommendation in the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs report on tackling child obesity in November 2018 that the Government should endeavour to ensure that the youth work sector has the necessary supports to strengthen the work in enhancing the knowledge and skills of young persons in relation to healthy eating and active living; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50731/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Report on Tackling Childhood Obesity was published by the Houses of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs in November 2018, and Recommendation 4 of this report recommends that the Government should endeavour to ensure that the youth work sector has the necessary supports to strengthen the sector’s work in enhancing the knowledge and skills of young people in relation to healthy eating and active living.

By way of providing the necessary supports to the youth work sector, in recent years funding for the provision of youth services has been increased on an annual basis, with funding of €60.4m allocated in 2019. This funding allows youth organisations and targeted programmes to, amongst other priorities, enhance the knowledge and skills of young people in relation to healthy eating and active living.

The funding is both for universal youth work, as well as more targeted programmes and projects aimed at tackling vulnerable groups, many of whom might be at greater risk of poor diet, obesity and low participation in exercise and sport. Work in this area is undertaken under the overarching national policy framework, Better Outcomes Brighter Futures , which has as Outcome 1, a focus on children and young people being active and healthy and enjoying good physical and mental well-being.

In addition, the significant reform of the Targeted Youth Funding Scheme will be a key enabler in helping to achieve positive outcomes for vulnerable groups, many of whom are at higher risk of obesity and inactive lifestyles.

Finally my Department also engages with inter-departmental strategies and groups, such as the Sports Leadership Group, to support developments to increase children and young people’s participation in exercise and sport.