Laura Sharman 11 November 2022

Investment in youth work saves Government up to £3.2bn per year, research finds

Investment in youth work saves Government up to £3.2bn per year, research finds image
Image: Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com

The annual investment of up to £1bn in youth services saves the Government as much as £3.2bn per year, according to new research.

The new report, commissioned by UK Youth and produced by Frontier Economics, argued that these savings are achieved through improved societal health, increased employment and education, and a reduction in crime.

Every pound invested generates between £3.20 and £6.40 in benefits to the taxpayer, as well as creating 70,000 paid employers, 180,000 volunteers, and engaging 4.4m young people.

It also found that just a modest increase in funding - which is currently between £0.5bn and £1bn in youth work every year - could save billions more.

Ndidi Okezie, chief executive of UK Youth, said: 'Today’s young people are facing a tsunami of challenges that cannot be overestimated or ignored – the cost of living crisis, mental health struggles, increasing barriers to sustained employability, ongoing inequality, trauma and more.

'Our new report shows that a powerful solution is ready and available – a solution that not only meets young people where they are with the support they urgently need, but also provides billions of pounds of benefits to the taxpayer.'

UK Youth warned that in the last decade, there has been a 77% cut in real-terms local authority expenditure on youth services. This has seen 760 youth centres closed and 4,500 youth work jobs lost.

The charity is calling on the Government to guarantee there will be no cuts to youth investment in next week's budget.

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