Vicky at the Despatch Box
Vicky at the Despatch Box

Yesterday, I closed my first debate as a Shadow Minister in the General Debate on the Role and Sufficiency of Youth Services.

Currently, 95% of all Government spending on youth services goes to the NCS, despite the fact that only one in 10 eligible young people participate in its programmes. Since it was established, the NCS has received £1.5 billion, and it spent £10 million on a brand refresh earlier this year. This is alongside a landscape in which spending on youth services has fallen by 70%, 760 youth centres have closed their doors and over 14,000 youth workers have lost their jobs in the last decade. Surely, it is unsustainable to spend millions of pounds on a programme that is simply not attracting the numbers when there are hundreds of brilliant youth centres and talented youth workers crying out for funding across the country.

Labour is absolutely committed to rebuilding the youth sector to ensure that it is fit for the modern age—a youth sector that has open access, is diverse and has the interests of young people at heart.

You can watch my speech below or read the full debate on Hansard here.

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