Responsibility for youth policy and strategy has been shifted from the Department for Education to the Cabinet Office and is led by Nick Hurd from today.
Announcing the move this morning the Cabinet Office advised its new responsibilities will include strategic dialogue with young people and youth sector organisations on youth policy, and the statutory duty on local authorities for youth provision in their areas.
The government claims this latest shift for youth policy is “putting young people at the heart of policy-making” with the Cabinet Office already in charge of the National Citizen Service initiative for 16 and 17-year-olds. The government department is also in charge of promoting social action, and the move brings youth policy closer to civil society organisations in this area.
Commenting on his new responsibilities, minister for civil society Nick Hurd said: “Our teenagers are growing up in a more competitive world. It is in everyone’s interest that they achieve their full potential. So this is a really important time for the country to get behind them. The Cabinet Office is well placed to help government, business and the voluntary sector to work together more effectively in that cause. It will require people to think in different ways but we are well up for a challenge.”
Youth charity NCVYS seconded Hurd's enthusiasm. Chief executive Susanne Rauprich said: "NCVYS believes that we have long missed a trick by failing to place the resources and creativity that young people bring at the centre of all government policies and the efforts to rebuild our economy. The Cabinet Office is the right place within Government to change that and our new youth minister Nick Hurd has already shown the commitment necessary to be an effective advocate for young people. NCVYS will give him all the help he needs to succeed.
"This move will also help to ensure that youth policy effectively supports the voluntary and community sector youth organisations who provide holistic provision for young people. We look forward to continuing to work through our Strategic Partnerships with the Department for Education and Department of Health so that the policy approach right across government becomes equally holistic."
Along with the announcement the Cabinet Office released a progress report on its Positive for Youth campaign which was launched in December 2011, with collaboration across nine government departments, in a bid to increase opportunities for young people. The report outlines the Cabinet Office’s work with the new independent organisation, the Campaign for Youth Social Action and the charity sector, schools and businesses on its plans to double to number of young people participating in social action by 2020. Funding is being provided from the Youth Social Action Fund to run pilots providing opportunities and supporting their take-up in Birmingham, Middlesbrough, Kent and Lancashire from October 2013.