Call to action for greater investment for youth workers

Kyle Buchan and Stewart Stevenson MSP
Kyle Buchan and Stewart Stevenson MSP

A CALL TO ACTION has been issued to young people aimed at closing the educational attainment gap.

Hundreds of young people from youth work projects and organisations in Moray and throughout Scotland have been holding meetings with their local members of the Scottish and UK Parliaments telling their stories about the benefit of youth work.

Last week a manifesto launch was held at Holyrood with Scotland’s National Youth Work Agency, YouthLink Scotland, calling for further investment in the sector.

As part of the initiative Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson met with local Sea Scout Kyle Buchan. The MSP, whose constituency includes Buckie, said: “I commend the work YouthLink are doing in building the process of engagement between young people and their elected representatives across all parties.

“It was a pleasure to meet with Sea Scout Kyle Buchan, who kindly took time out to be part of the YouthLink scheme and meet with myself.

“The Sea Scouts are a tremendous organisation who do a lot of excellent work with young people, giving them lots of opportunities to do activities and develop skills so I was delighted YouthLink has chosen the Sea Scouts to engage with me.”

YouthLink Scotland’s chief executive is Jim Sweeney, who commented: “Our biggest asset is the young people we work with. I am delighted that so many young people have had the opportunity to deliver their own personal youth work story to their local politicians.

“We need to, each one of us, do all in our power to make sure youth work is valued and properly funded in every local area as youth work really does change lives.”

Closing the Educational Attainment gap is a key political priority, the youth work sector works with around 380,000 young people each week and has a key and valuable contribution to make, by supporting young people to learn and achieve in non-formal spaces and times.

The National Call to Action contains 14 ‘Asks’ of Scottish Politicians and calls for a Nationwide Employer Supported Volunteering Scheme, to help boost volunteer numbers.

Over recent years there has been significant investment in the school estate so our young people can learn in 21st century spaces, the youth work sector are asking for a three year capital fund, in order to ensure premises and equipment across Scotland are fit for purpose and enhance informal learning.