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For Oral Answer on : 14/12/2023
Question Number(s): 123 Question Reference(s): 55806/23
Department: Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
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QUESTION


To ask the Minister for Children; Equality; Disability; Integration and Youth the way he is supporting youth clubs and youth services nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY


My Department is making a significant investment in youth services in 2024, building on the increases in recent years and securing the achievements into the future.  

The full package of current funding for youth services and programmes in my Department is €77.95 million, an increase of €5 million, or 6.8%, on the 2023 budget.   

€74.45m is being provided for youth services funded under the existing funding schemes.  In addition, €1 million is being provided to establish a new Youth Employability Scheme which aims to help young people to participate in the workforce, education, or training.  

€2.5 million is being provided to support the expansion of universal youth services, which are provided by volunteer led youth organisations around the country.  This funding will enable more groups to support young people and will create more places in youth groups. 

From 2020 to Budget 2024, current Exchequer funding for youth services and programmes increased from €61.789 million to €77.95 million, a 26% increase overall. 

My Department provides funding to all 16 Education and Training Boards to support youth services in their area. Youth Officers are supported to provide an important function for my Department in the co-ordination and administration of youth services at local level. My officials hold quarterly meetings with representatives of the ETBs.  These meetings assist my Department in identifying service needs and emerging issues, particularly for vulnerable young people.

I am committed to supporting this important sector, which has enormous value to the many young people involved and from a broader social and economic viewpoint.