In recent years funding for the provision of youth services has increased on an annual basis. Between 2016 and 2020 the annual current youth funding available to my Department increased from €51.9m to €61.79m. This additional funding is being used for programmes that target disadvantaged young people and to assist national youth organisations in their work to support local voluntary youth services.
In addition, in 2020, my Department launched the most significant reform of youth services ever undertaken with the launch of UBU Your Space Your Place. This will provide an opportunity to identify need and to focus funding on young people most in need of intervention.
I recognise the value of youth work from both a social and an economic viewpoint, so strengthening our investment in youth work makes sense. In this regard, I am committed to increasing the budget for youth service funding should available resources allow.