Youth development services and research to gather data on marginalized youth are set to receive an increase of $3.7 million per year in this year’s budget.
Youth Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan, at an event at the Mt Roskill YMCA celebrating Youth Week this afternoon, announced that the budget would include $15 million over four years for the initiatives.
- $2.5 million one year to help youth development services support an additional 6,800 young people,
- $1 million one year to pilot a program giving youth workers more contact with young people with urgent and complex needs
- $200,000 one year for research and evaluation
Radhakrishnan said this represented a 40% increase for MYD-funded services, and the biggest increase for them in 20 years.
“As a result of these programs, young people have reported increased self-confidence, the development of professional skills, better preparation for the future work environment and strengthened positive bonds,” she said.
“By investing in our youth development services, we are able to make a long-term difference for our young people, increasing their capacity and resilience through programs that develop the skills and relationships needed to participate in society. .
Radhakrishnan said Checkpoint the pilot program will provide 20-25 hours per week of contact time with young people with additional needs.
“It’s a multi-layered response and together we want to make sure young people are supported to thrive.”
The minister said the package was not announced in relation to recent stories of youth crime.
“Essentially what we want to do is ensure that our young people have purpose, a sense of connection and the support they need, whether through their families or outside through through youth services, so that we can be successful and not go down the path of crime.”
The Ministry of Youth Development (MYD) will launch a tender for its contestable fund in June.