The Tories have slashed £1 billion from youth services. Our young people deserve better than this. Our young people deserve a Labour Government that will invest in them and their future.
Youth services – like youth clubs, youth centres and counselling for young people – are absolutely vital in our communities. The benefits of youth work are real and long-lasting, offering young people safe spaces to explore their identities, develop their interpersonal skills and increase their confidence.
Years of austerity has meant that direct government funding to local authorities has been slashed by two thirds, and youth services have seen significant cutbacks as councils seek to make savings. Between 2012 and 2016, almost 140,000 places in youth centres for young people were cut. 600 youth centres closed down and 3,500 youth workers lost their jobs. This means that a generation of young people could potentially be left without the opportunity to play a full part in our communities.
Labour will guarantee a nationwide network of youth clubs and other services for young people as a way of tackling problems such as mental ill-health and school exclusions, as well as involvement in knife and drug crime.