We must value and invest in youth work, says UNISON

20160201draftpressreleaseicon01UNISON is calling for more investment in youth work and to place more value the role of youth workers. That is the conclusion of a report Growing Pains published by the trade union today (13 May 2016).

UNISON has surveyed youth workers across Scotland including youth support workers; literacy and numeracy workers; home school partnership officers; family support workers and young persons’ alcohol workers to gauge the impact of cuts on their services

These youth workers report they are struggling to provide a good service young people because of cuts and jobs losses. They report that vital youth work is reliant on volunteers to keep services going; workers sometimes spend their own money to continue activities; and important youth activities have been stopped altogether. It is a workforce that feels anxious, undervalued, and stressed. Youth workers report they have low, or very low, morale

Dave Watson head of UNISON policy and public affairs said, “Youth workers report that the passion and commitment they have for working with young people is not valued and they feel the commitment to youth work is slipping away.  This  is extremely short sighted. Research shows that every £1 spent contributes £7 to the public purse because youth work contributes to economic growth, reduces public spending and improves the opportunities for young people.”

“Cuts to youth work simply stores up future problems as well as damaging the opportunities for our young people now. We cannot pretend that these cuts are not hurting. We are urging councils and governments to put more value on the amazing youth work that goes on in Scotland”


UNISON Contacts

Dave Watson, head of policy and public affairs, 07958 122 409

Danny Phillips, communications officer, 07944 664 110