My Department administers a range of funding schemes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communities.
Both the targeted and universal youth funding allocations for 2020 for organisations and services are currently being finalised in my Department.
These schemes have been subject to very significant review and reform.
I am currently working closely with officials in my Department to complete the final phase of preparation of the new targeted youth funding scheme, which will be launched before Christmas. I believe the new scheme will be highly beneficial to the most vulnerable groups in society.
This scheme is designed to support young people who are marginalised, disadvantaged or vulnerable and aims to provide services which support young people to develop the personal and social skills required to improve their life chances.
The design of this scheme has been the subject of considerable collaboration with the youth sector.
The experience gained in reforming targeted youth funding schemes will also assist us in reviewing the funding scheme for universal services. In this regard my Department plans to commence a review of the youth services grant scheme next year.
This scheme makes funding available on an annual basis to 30 national and major regional youth organisations.
In 2019, I provided an additional 2.5% in funding to this scheme, bringing the total allocation to over €11 million.
The review of this scheme will aim to enhance accountability, transparency and outcome measurement. It will also seek to ensure that the scheme responds as effectively as possible to the ever evolving needs of young people. My Department is committed to consultation with the youth sector in this review.
We have a professional, constructive working relationship with the national youth organisations, which my Department works hard to maintain, and most recently I met with the national youth organisations on 2 December last.