Presentation to Oireachtas Health and Children Committee on work of National Youth Council of Ireland James O’Leary President and James Doorley, Deputy Director May 29th 2014 Introduction National Youth Council of Ireland is representative body of voluntary youth organisations NYCI's vision “is one where all young persons are empowered to develop the skills and confidence to fully participate as active citizens in an inclusive society” 48 member organisations working in every community 40,000 volunteers & 1,400 full time staff 382,000 young people aged 10-24 participating in the services and activities of our members NYCI led by voluntary board with 19 full & part time staff Our Work Representing the interests and supporting the work of voluntary youth work organisations Promoting the value of youth work and non-formal education in the lives of young people Undertaking research and analysis of the role and contribution of youth work services in Ireland-e.g. Indecon report Bringing a collective voice to Government on practice and policy issues-through NYWAC, policy, budget issues Enhancing youth work practice through providing training for youth leaders, youth workers & organisations Promoting and supporting the implementation of the National Quality Standards Framework Operating the Child Protection Protection in youth sector Our Work Uses it collective experience to act on issues affecting young people Youth unemployment-working with young jobseekers/members to propose solutions-Early promoters of youth guarantee Alcohol misuse-members of Govt committee-supported action on price, promotion and availability of alcohol Emigration-exploring experience of young emigrants and promoting strategy to prepare for return migration. Youth mental advocating for implementation of “A Vision for Change” support for suicide awareness & positive mental health Equality-legislative change to include young people under 18 in equality act & measures to tackle racism and discrimination Active Citizenship-promoted participation of young people in democratic life-just finished our “Promote the Vote” Campaign for local and European elections. Brighter Outcomes, Better Futures Acknowledge legacy of Minister Fitzgerald and look forward to working with Minister Flanagan. Welcome publication of new National Policy Framework for Children and Young People Welcome commitment by DCYA to develop a distinct Youth Strategy based on this document 1st time we have had dedicated youth strategy Very important because all independent analysis from NESC, OECD tell us children & young people have suffered most during recession Important to have vision and plans-but if these are to make a difference need political will & resources Youth Work Youth sector working with up 382,000 young people aged 10-24-that’s 43.3% of age cohort Ireland has highest % in EU of young people participating in youth club/organisations 53.3% socially or economically disadvantaged 40,000 volunteers and 1,400 full & part time staff Indecon found that for every €1 invested state saves €2.22-prudent estimate Youth Sector suffered disproportionate cuts from 2008-2014 from €73.1m to €49.78m or 31.8% Severe impact on services and supports to datereally concerned at impact of further cuts to services Youth Employment Working on issue since start of economic crisis Consulted with young jobseekers, held conferences, produced two reports. From 2010 promoted youth guarantee Welcome progress towards implementation of YG in 2013-Concerned at pace of implementation since 90% of the jobs created last year were for people with 3rd level-need to address needs of LTU 30,000 young people aged 18-25 on live register for 12 months or more-high priority Need to focus not only on quantity of opportunitiesbut also quality Alcohol Misuse Young people starting to drink at earlier age, more frequently and higher strength products High levels of binge drinking have immediate negative impact & do long term damage. In 2009 we produced a report showing impact of alcohol advertising on young people Participated in National Substance Misuse Strategy Group-support proposals to introduce minimim price, restrict advertising availability of alcohol. International evidence suggests that these would reduce harmful drinking among young people Concerned at slow pace of implementation.