GE2024: UK Youth responds to Labour manifesto

13 June 2024

  • Latest news

National youth work charity UK Youth has welcomed the Labour Party’s recognition of the vital role of youth workers.

Among the many pledges in the party’s newly published manifesto, Change, ahead of the general election on July 4, the Labour Party has promised a “new network of youth hubs”, alongside a vow to “increase the engagement of young people in our vibrant democracy, by giving 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in all elections”.

Other youth and youth work-related highlights in the manifesto include commitments to:

Jacob Diggle, UK Youth chief impact officer.

Jacob Diggle, UK Youth chief impact officer, said: “We are pleased Labour has recognised the importance of youth work and has made commitments to expand access to this life-changing support. Their promise to extend the right to vote to all 16 and 17 year olds is a welcome sign of trust and respect for young people.”

“Labour has pledged almost £300 million a year to deliver Young Futures Hubs, increase youth workers in A&Es and Pupil Referral Units, and provide early support for mental health in schools. Youth workers will also play a vital role in implementing Labour’s guarantee of meaningful work experience, access to training, apprenticeships, and other employment support.”

With more than a billion pounds a year cut from youth services in recent years, this is welcome recognition and promise of investment. However, there is a long road to travel. UK Youth looks forward to working with whoever forms the next government to unlock the power of youth work for all.”

UK Youth looks forward to working with whoever forms the next government to unlock the power of youth work for all.

Jacob Diggle, UK Youth chief impact officer

Labour has also pledged to provide access to specialist mental health professionals in every school, so every young person has access to early support to address problems before they escalate.

Jacob said: “It is vital young people get the early help they need to thrive, particularly support around mental health. Working together across sectors and services, including youth workers and therapists, is key to supporting young people in these difficult times. 

“The pandemic has exacerbated an existing mental health epidemic among young people – one in five children and young people have a probable mental disorder and three-quarters of children and young people who experience a mental health problem are not getting the help they need. 

“Without action, we are storing up problems for young people, the national economy, and the NHS.” 

Election calls

Ahead of the forthcoming General Election, UK Youth is urging all political parties to: 

About UK Youth

UK Youth is a leading charity with a vision that all young people are equipped to thrive and empowered to contribute at every stage of their lives. With an open network of more than 8,000 youth organisations and nation partners; UK Youth reaches more than four million young people across the UK and is focused on unlocking youth work as the catalyst of change that is needed now more than ever. To find out more, visit ukyouth.org 

UK Youth is involved in a range of programmes designed to help young people thrive, such as outdoor learning, physical literacy, social action and employability, including Hatch, a youth employability programme run in partnership with KFC. For more on UK Youth’s programmes, see ukyouth.org/what-we-do/programmes

For more about youth matters and the general election, see ukyouth.org/general-election-2024

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