What is the Youth Service?
The Youth Service makes a positive contribution to education, employability and life skills. It helps young people to positively engage as active members of their own and wider communities. It provides a valuable link to education and training particularly for those young people who are the most disadvantaged in society.
The Priorities for Youth Policy published by the Department of Education in October 2013 provides the framework for future delivery of youth service provision across Northern Ireland. The policy aims to:
- contribute to raising standards for all and closing the performance gap between the highest and lowest achieving young people by providing access to enjoyable, non-formal learning opportunities that help them to develop enhanced social and cognitive skills and overcome barriers to learning
- continue to improve the non-formal learning environment by creating inclusive, participative settings in which the voice and influence of young people are championed, supported and evident in the design, delivery and evaluation of programmes
The Youth Service consists of a statutory and a voluntary sector
- statutory sector currently overseen by the Education and Library Boards consists of over 100 youth units, employing approximately 700 paid workers and over 500 voluntary staff
- voluntary sector is the larger provider benefitting from input from over 20,000 volunteers who work with a diverse range of organisations both uniformed and non-uniformed
- Contact details for Youth Services within the ELBs (Education Support for Northern Ireland website)