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Labour commits to a statutory youth service
John McDonnell, Labour MP and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer in addressing a Conference of the General Federation of Trade Unions, an organisation that supports young people and ChooseYouth, commits to a statutory Youth Service as part of Labour's National Education Service.
Young people in Wales get a vote!
ChooseYouth Chair Doug Nicholls has warmly welcomed the decision to enfranchise 16 year olds in Wales.
He said: "Recently we saw the Conservatives in Westminster talk out of time a prop introduce votes at 16. Their hatred of the Youth Service is based on a similar fear of the articulate and informed vote of young people. We should encourage all those throughout the country who want to empower young people at 16 and ensure that their voice is heard and listened to in the ballot box. This will only bring progress for us all."
Give us votes at 16
16 year olds in the UK, such as me, are able to join the armed forces, work full time, pay taxes and have to pay adult prices for things such as public transport; however the government still refuses to give us a say on who governs us. At 16 years old, I could marry my local MP, but I could not vote for them. I am able to join the army, but I cannot have a say in who decides whether the country goes to war or not.
Celebrate Youth Work - Rebuild the Youth Service
Our drop in evening for MPs on November 6th was just one of many events that were held in support of the National Youth Agency's Youth Work Week.
Together with Tracy Brabin MP we held a drop-in session which was attended by MPs, young people, youth workers and youth organisations which provided an opportunity for Members to become better informed about the issues facing youth services and the youth workers that deliver them.
Even the Leader of the Labour Party recognised the huge contribution that youth work and youth workers make and sent out this message.
The Damage to Youth Services Continued...
"Youth services do a vital job in our communities. The benefits they provide for young people are real and long-lasting. While many other public services step in when problems occur, youth services prevent so many of those difficulties from occurring in the first place. Youth services help young people to lead positive lives as members of society." These words come from the introduction of a new report by Unison published this week.
The impact of losing youth services has also been covered by the Guardian today in a story entitled "Disadvantaged teenagers left isolated as clubs and holiday camps are closed" that highlights the very real impact of cuts on the lives of young people, and how cuts to youth services in particular are leaving disadvantaged teenagers "idle and isolated".
Youth Work and Youth Services: Our Shared Future
ChooseYouth held a special open forum event on April 13th for all youth sector organisations who wished to participate in a shared future for youth work and youth services. We welcomed input from a range of interested parties and will be calling a meeting of the alliance in late September to progress the ideas raised.