Young people to develop youth charter with government

By Joanne Parkes

| 11 April 2019

A youth charter aiming to strengthen and co-ordinate national policy is to be developed with young people, the minister for civil society has announced.

Minister for civil society Mims Davies: Youth charter will set out how to support young people to reach their “full potential”. Picture: UK Parliament

The move has been welcomed by leading youth organisations, which have been calling for a "new, bolder approach to youth strategy" tailored to the specific challenges facing young people today.

The news follows a high-level meeting as part of the Prime Minister's recent Serious Youth Violence Summit.

The minister, Mims Davies, along with Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright, held a roundtable meeting with the youth sector, sports bodies, charities and creative organisations.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said the plan reaffirms the government's commitment to boost young people's voice on their priority issues, including serious violence and knife crime, mental and physical health challenges and concerns about the environment and climate change.

It will be developed over the coming months in collaboration with sector organisations and young people.

UK Youth, The Scouts, Girlguiding, National Youth Agency, NCS Trust, Youth United Foundation, Step up to Serve, The Prince's Trust, and the British Youth Council (BYC) are the organsisations which have been calling on the government to develop the charter.

The BYC said the shared vision was that all young people have access to appropriate, high-quality resources and services.

"To achieve this, we must put young people at the front and centre of joined-up service design and delivery," added the statement.

"A new youth charter will facilitate an integrated, youth centric, approach across the myriad services many young people interact with in their day-to-day lives, ranging from formal and non-formal education and social services, to criminal justice, healthcare, housing and benefits.

"As part of this offer, we believe young people must have access to high-quality and universally available non-formal education and development opportunities."

These should be "accessible, affordable, open to all" and "nationally co-ordinated to ensure parity of access".

Davies said: "We're determined to support young people in reaching their full potential.

"This charter will set out how."

A number of government-funded projects are already helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, including into employment, said the DCMS, adding that it has also pledged to renew specific youth work qualifications that were due to expire in 2020, subject to a business case, and review the youth work training curriculum.

It is hoped this will help address the recent decline in the number of people taking up youth work training and give youth workers the skills they need to best support young people.

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