The Department for Education is to relinquish responsibility for youth policy in England to the Cabinet Office.
Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd will take on the brief for youth policy. Image: Cabinet Office
A statement published by the government this morning confirmed that the change will take place some time in July. The brief will now become the responsibility of Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society.
The statement said the Cabinet Office’s new responsibilities will include the statutory duty on local authorities for youth provision in their areas and “strategic dialogue” with young people and youth sector organisations on youth policy.
It added that this “fits with its existing support to young people, including its role co-ordinating business across government, new models of public service delivery, and encouraging more active citizenship”.
Hurd said: “Our teenagers are growing up in a more competitive world. It is in everyone’s interest that they achieve their full potential.
“So this is a really important time for the country to get behind them. The Cabinet Office is well placed to help government, business and the voluntary sector to work together more effectively in that cause.
“It will require people to think in different ways but we are well up for the challenge.”
The decision follows months of speculation that responsibility for youth services was set to move from the DfE. In March, Education Secretary Michael Gove said he was considering moving youth work to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The government also belatedly published a progress report today on its December 2011 Positive for Youth strategy, initially intended to be published one year after the strategy. Indeed, it reveals that following a review within government of the best way to support young people, it found a “compelling case” for the Cabinet Office to lead on youth matters.
The Cabinet Office already has responsibility for the government’s flagship National Citizen Service, which will expand to 90,000 next year.
In time, the government wants all 16-year-olds to have the opportunity to take part.