A report by UNISON has revealed that 2000 youth workers have been axed and 350 youth centres closed since 2012. As a result 41,000 youth service places and 35,000 hours of outreach work by youth workers have been lost. This equates to at least £60 million of funding withdrawn from youth services due to centrally imposed local government budget reductions.
The report argues that youth services provide vital support to young people, facilitating their inclusion in society and helping them to fulfil their potential. Mike Short, UNISON's senior national officer for local government was quoted in the The Independent as saying 'a generation will definitely struggle to play their part in society'. The report warns that this could lead, amongst other things, to greater demonisation and criminalisation of young people.