Package includes up to £7 million towards positive youth activities and £5 million for the #iwill Fund

Youth projects across the country will receive a £12 million boost as part of the Government’s commitment to help young people thrive and level up opportunities, Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan announced today.

Follows recent announcement of a £500 million long-term commitment towards youth services

Youth projects across the country will receive a £12 million boost as part of the Government’s commitment to help young people thrive and level up opportunities, Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan announced today.

The investment includes up to £7 million for a Youth Accelerator Fund that will expand existing successful projects, and address urgent needs in the youth sector by delivering extra sessions in youth clubs, and promoting positive activities in sport and the arts to help young people develop skills and contribute to their communities.

Young people will play a key role in decisions over funding allocation by working directly with policy makers to ensure activities properly meet their needs.

A further £5 million of Government funding will also be invested in the #iwill Fund to encourage 10 to 20 year olds to take part in social action, such as volunteering in their communities by funding groups delivering these programmes.

Jointly funded by Government and the National Lottery Community Fund, the #iwill Fund has created over 500,000 opportunities for young people since it was launched in 2016.

The funding boost is additional investment and comes after the Chancellor recently announced a new £500 million Youth Investment Fund for the five years from April 2020, to give young people somewhere to go, something positive to do and someone to speak to.

Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said:

I have big ambitions for what this government can achieve for young people - inspiring them to grow in confidence and employability, building their character and resilience, while transforming life chances through sports and the arts.

We will use this immediate investment to benefit young people in as many local areas as possible. This will pave the way for the ambitious, long-term infrastructure plans for our youth services that we will deliver over the next five years - led by the views of young people and those that work with them.

If we wish to use all the great talent in our country it is vital that we offer opportunities to our next generation, not just in school but outside the school day.

Half of the £500 million Youth Investment Fund will be used to fund new youth centres, refurbish existing facilities and create more mobile clubs. The remainder will be invested in a range of activities that teach important life skills, such as digital skills, culture, sport and social action as well as investment in the youth work profession so young people have a trusted person they can turn to.

This will all be underpinned by the establishment of new Local Youth Partnerships across the country, designed to effectively coordinate and sustain local youth activities.

As part of the Government’s commitment to the youth sector, it is investing £500,000 this year in a new Youth Worker Bursary Fund to attract youth workers from a variety of backgrounds. Hundreds of students, who otherwise would not be able to pay the fees, will be given places on approved level 2 and level 3 youth worker qualifications.

In order to ensure those working with young people are given the highest quality support and guidance, the Government is also working with the National Youth Agency to renew the entry level qualifications (levels 2 and 3) for youth work, introducing a level 3 youth work apprenticeship and carrying out a full review of the youth work curriculum.

The Youth Accelerator Fund will be divided between grants for youth projects across England and a place based fund which will be delivered in partnership with DCMS arm’s length bodies.

The local community fund will demonstrate how coordinating provision across a range of sectors - such as the arts, sports and creative industries - can have a positive impact on young people in a specific location. Part of this funding will go directly towards existing projects, which are already delivering excellent programmes for young people, through for example, Sport England.

The #iwill Fund was launched in September 2016. To date it has:

  • Supported the Scouts and Guides to join forces and open new units across the country, extending their reach and tackling historic waiting lists;
  • Enabled 20,000 more disadvantaged young people to start the Duke of Edinburgh scheme;
  • Developed social action in education, health, social care and environmental work. Working together with the Pears Foundation this includes working with 28 NHS Trusts to bring more young volunteers into health care as part of last year’s NHS at 70 celebrations.
  • Ensured that 40% of those taking part are from the 20% more deprived deciles.

The Youth Investment Fund will cost £500 million over five years, including £68 million in 2020/21. It consists equally of £250 million capital and £250 million resource spending.

The Youth Investment Fund is expected to attract match funding from private, local authority and civil society sources in the range of hundreds of millions. The location of the youth centres will be determined through a process run by DCMS.

New and refurbished youth centres need constructive and high quality activities. This investment will deliver a huge range of universal, open access activities and youth services including in digital skills, arts and culture, sports, and social action.

The Government is supporting young people by investing in more services. Since the launch of the Civil Society Strategy in August 2018 it:

Continues to deliver the National Citizen Service, with more than 100,000 young people in the past year alone benefiting from taking part in this youth programme that helps build a more responsible, more cohesive and more engaged society.

Has invested £5 million to create over 10,000 new places in uniformed youth groups such as Fire Cadets and Scouts, for young people in disadvantaged areas.

Has launched a consultation as part of a review on the statutory guidance placed on local authorities to provide appropriate local services to improve young people’s wellbeing.

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