Youth Services Essential in Northern Ireland

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2018 Local Government Service Group Conference
23 February 2018

In Northern Ireland youth services are provided by a combination of statutory and voluntary resources. A budget of £38 million from the NI budget and administered by the education authority underpins these resources.

UNISON members working across both sectors have been involved in discussions responding to a major review of youth services.

Statutory services are being reconfigured to make way for an increasing shift in provision from the voluntary sector. In particular this has led to a retraction of services in outdoor education and learning centres. UNISON Northern Ireland has been campaigning to resist centre closures and service reduction.

Negotiations are on-going on the impact on the workforce. UNISON members are determined to protect statutory provision along with demanding greater stability for our members in the voluntary sector. The pressure of cuts to the Northern Ireland block grant, reduced funding and political instability has created difficult conditions for negotiations between employers and trade unions.

Conference calls on the service group executive to support UNISON Northern Ireland’s efforts to protect and retain a viable youth service in Northern Ireland.