Education Minister Peter Weir has said that no decisions have been made on funding for organisations delivering Extended, Outreach and Detached initiatives.
Peter Weir said:
"I am very concerned at the amount of speculation and misinformation on this issue, in particular, the suggestion that I or my Department has cut funding to these youth services. No funding has been withdrawn, no decision has been taken to remove funding and there are no proposals to remove the funding.
“The current political uncertainty has clearly raised anxiety over budgets generally, however, I want to reassure those working in the youth sector that I have not proposed to withdraw or reduce support for these important initiatives.
“I greatly value the work of the youth sector in supporting young people to improve their overall life chances, and I remain committed to ensuring that the needs of young people are prioritised in line with current policy objectives and within the resources available.
“The confusion that has arisen is as a result of a budget not yet having been agreed and obviously there is some uncertainty at the moment as to when and by whom final budget decisions will be made.
“The Education Authority (EA) has carried out its normal and annual process of notifying staff in the youth sector that future delivery is subject to funding available and therefore staff are placed on what is known as protective notice. This is standard practice by the EA which has sent out similar letters in previous years. It does not mean that jobs will be lost or funding removed.
"It is very disappointing that these annual letters have been used to scaremonger and create anxiety for youth workers.”
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