Manifesto to support Scotland's youth workers and young people launched

Scotland’s youth work sector has launched its manifesto for the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, calling for urgent action to protect vital services through increased funding backed up by strengthened legislation.

Image of two young people. YouthLink Scotland logo near the bottom. Text reads 'Resilient, Resourceful & Reimagined. A manifesto to support Scotland's youth workers and young people. #YWManifesto'.

Resilient, Resourceful and Reimagined is a manifesto to secure crucial support for Scotland’s 80,000 youth workers and the 350,000 young people they work with. The sector is asking politicians, local and national, to commit to three key policy asks: 

  • A right for all young people to access youth work opportunities
  • Investment in youth work services at a local and national level
  • Formal recognition of the positive impact of youth work across public policy areas

The launch of the manifesto comes after an extraordinary year, with unprecedented disruption to education and a huge increase in the demand for mental health and wellbeing services for young people brought about by ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

Out of this hugely challenging landscape, however, we now have a unique opportunity to consider key reforms to the way in which society supports, educates and develops its children and young people. The youth work sector ready to be an important part of that change.

Commenting on the launch of the sector manifesto, Tim Frew, CEO, YouthLink Scotland said:  

Increasingly issues with mental health, employability and learning loss will have a significant impact on our young people in the long-term. We are asking politicians and society to stand with us during this extraordinary time, to support the youth work sector. The actions we take now will be crucial. Young people deserve a commitment to the continuation and emboldening of the services that supported them before and during the pandemic. 

“I would expect politicians at a national party level to step up their support for our sector, investment is needed if we want to make sure young people are not further disadvantaged. That’s why I have also written to all 32 council leaders emphasising the precarious nature of the situation and the need for urgent action to secure youth work services.” 

From 8 to 12 March, YouthLlink Scotland will be leading a social media campaign to raise awareness of the manifesto using the #YWManifesto hashtag. Find out how you can get involved with our communications pack.