Youth Council for Northern Ireland
Comhairle Ógra um Thuaisceart Éireann
Council o Youth for Norlin Airlan
YCNI Functions :  Community Relations | European/International  |  Funding  |  Policy  |  Research  |  Youth Work Training

Youth Council Must be Saved Says Committee

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education today unanimously agreed to oppose the proposed abolition of the Youth Council for Northern Ireland.

The Department for Education recently concluded its consultation on the dissolution of the Youth Council, arguing that it is inefficient and that its functions should be transferred.

Committee Chairperson Peter Weir MLA said: “The Committee believes quite simply that the Department for Education has got this wrong. Over 100,000 children and young people are dependent on a wide range of different local youth organisations. Approximately 20,000 staff, most of whom are volunteers, provide and manage the administration of these crucial services.

“The Youth Council provides advice, administration and encouragement on a regional basis; and helps these organisations to secure matching funding, and by facilitating and developing cross-community partnerships. The Committee strongly believes that the coordinated approach by the Youth Council means that the money invested by the Department in youth provision goes much further and has a significant positive impact on community relations.”

Mr Weir concluded: “We feel that the Department’s proposals on the abolition of the Youth Council are ill thought out and fail to recognise the needs and strengths of youth organisations throughout Northern Ireland.

“We are calling on the Minister to listen again to the youth sector and to this Committee. A significant rethink is necessary, if we are to reform and improve the efficiency of youth services and continue to look after the needs of our young people across Northern Ireland.”


On Monday 20th April 2015, the Department of Education published a consultation document setting out options for the future of the Youth Council.  The deadline for this consultation was Friday 3 July 2015.

The Youth Council encouraged all interested parties to respond to this important consultation as its outcome could have major long-term implications for youth work in Northern Ireland.

Download the Youth Council's response to the consultation:



The Department of Education has announced it is extending the appointment term for board members of the Youth Council for NI.

Máire Young (Chair), Bertie Faulkner (Vice Chair) and Anne-Marie McClure were originally appointed on 13 May 2000. Derek Capper was appointed on 11 June 2003. Hugh Campbell and June Trimble were appointed on 9 February 2015. The term of all appointments has been extended by one year until September 2016.

All Board members bring a wealth of experience of working in or with the voluntary and community sector, particularly the youth sector. They also have experience of contributing to strategic direction and planning in an organisation and the ability to apply a high standard of accountability, corporate governance and risk management in an organisation. None of the appointees hold any other ministerial public appointment nor have they carried out any political activity in the last five years.


Further to the Minister's decision to apply a £1M cut to the Youth Council's budget for 2015/16, the YCNI Chairperson and Chief Executive met with Department of Education officials on 10 March 2015 to discuss the Minister's intention to explore how all youth funding might be delivered through the Education Authority.  The Youth Council's serious concerns were highlighted to the officials.

The Youth Council has also responded to a request from the Assembly Education Committee to clarify details of the Council’s administration and associated funding.

The Youth Council has already made cuts to its own running costs for 2015/16 and is seeking to make further reductions to cushion the impact of the cuts on the organisations which it funds.

Further updates on the Youth Council's actions will be circulated in due course, together with information on any other relevant developments.

The Youth Council will be delivering its Business Plan for 2015/16 which includes actions relating to its statutory functions and also supporting the implementation of the Regional Youth Development Plan for 2015/16 in collaboration with the Education Authority and with the engagement of the voluntary sector. This plan addresses the priorities and actions identified within the Department's 'Priorities for Youth' policy.

Youth Work Practice Development

Your opportunity to tell us about current and future support arrangements
for youth work

The purpose of this questionnaire, developed by the Practice Development Unit sub group, is to assist in the design of future appropriate arrangements to support youth organisations in relation to governance, training and practice as recommended within the Department of Education's "Priorities for Youth" policy.

Local youth organisations have benefited in the past from effective support from both voluntary and statutory youth work agencies. The Practice Development Unit Sub Group wish to acknowledge the huge range of history, experience, skills and knowledge within the broad youth work sector.  Our work aims to build on this.

Your feedback is essential for ensuring that future arrangements are fit for purpose and are deliverable within the funds available to the youth service.  Responses to the questionnaire are anonymous and any analysis and/or reports in the questionnaire will not identify either the individuals or organisations responding.  The survey will take a few minutes to complete.

Impact of
international youth work:
a youth council for ni perspective

In this publication, the Youth Council aims to dispel the myths surrounding engagement in International Youth Work and seeks to clarify how International Youth Work complements and underpins the Youth Work Curriculum and in particular, 'Priorities for Youth' (PfY), the new policy for youth in Northern Ireland, which sets the overarching policy framework for youth work within education.



Investing in lives

The History of the Youth Service
in Northern Ireland (1844-1973)

The Youth Council initiated a collaboration with the Ulster University to produce a history of  the youth service in the context of the North of Ireland,  tracing its roots back to 1844.  Our respective bodies have worked in close partnership and are proud to publish this first volume covering the period 1844 to 1973; we will continue this co-operation to produce a second volume which brings the Northern Ireland youth service story up to the present day.

The timeline split reflects two of the most significant watersheds for the youth service across Northern Ireland - the establishment of the statutory youth service in 1973, and the current transformation (2015) of the youth service as a result of the implementation of the Department of Education's new policy, "Priorities for Youth", coupled with the major changes in education structures here.


Investing in Lives ... Videos

  • Erasmus+
  • Mapping of Training


The Erasmus+ Programme Guide is an integral part of the 2016 Erasmus+ Call for Proposals. Organisations and institutions seeking funding in the framework of this call must comply with the conditions for participation and funding expressed in this Guide. The document provides information on: the priorities of the programme; the actions supported; the funding available for different actions; detailed information on participation.

Erasmus+ 2016 User Guide                Erasmus+ YCNI Summary Guide            

Guide on How to Apply                   Erasmus+ 2016 Deadlines           

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact:

Ecorys UK    T: 0845 199 2929    E:
British Council    T: 0161 957 7755    E:


The Youth Work Training Board is currently seeking to map the range of accredited and non-accredited training programmes currently being delivered across the youth work sector in Northern Ireland.

Once completed, this work will help in the development of a coherent training route for the youth work sector and will also help to begin the process of recognising and valuing the wide range of non-accredited training that exists in the sector.

I would be grateful if you would complete the templates with all the training programmes currently offered by your organisation and send to  You may be contacted in the near future to clarify some of the information supplied.

YWTB Qualifications Scoping Exercise


The purpose of the report is to capture and disseminate learning from the Voluntary Sector Youth Outreach Initiative. Whilst the report illustrates the range of work undertaken by funded organisations it also identifies and explores some of the key enablers and blockages to effective Outreach practice and how to sustain it.


YouthWork+ Employability

YCNI Response to
DE Draft Budget

International/Euro E:Bulletins

CRED Policy

YCNI Videos

Causeway UK Applications

Geomapping 2013
Statistical Report

ICT Research

Priorities for Youth

Towards a Youth Work Workforce Development Strategy

Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (NI) Statutory Rules

Profile of the Youth Work Workforce in NI

Customer Service Complaints Procedure

YCNI Staff - Direct Line Numbers
























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