Funding cuts could put teenagers at risk, LGA warns

This comes after research in which the LGA surveyed 152 councils with responsibilities for children’s services, with 87 councils responding.

Only seven per cent of councils that responded said they had sufficient powers and funding to meet their legal duties to identify and reduce teenage disengagement and secure suitable education and training places for all 16 to 18-year-olds.

Nine out of ten local authorities said they had been forced to reduce spending for 16 to 18 year olds, with the same number claiming that great devolution would allow them to deliver better value for money with the resources going into their area.

These responses follow funding cuts of up to 40 per cent since 2010, paired with a removal of council powers over key services, such as careers advice and national engagement programmes.

The LGA is calling for government to return key powers, which would allow councils to deliver their legal duties.

Cllr David Simmonds, Chairman of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “Councils are determined that every young person realises their full potential. Despite challenges, we are proud of our leading role working with different governments to consistently increase youth engagement over the last 15 years.

“The message from local government is clear. Cuts without reform risk undoing all of our collective good work, putting thousands of promising futures at risk. Councils are uniquely well placed to help young people access the opportunities created by the local employers increasingly frustrated by remote national institutions. It is important that we have the powers, levers and funding to fulfil our legal duties to young people."

He added: “Councils and local partners know that, with the support of government, they can join-up advice, skills and experience around the needs of each young person and local employers to help more reach their potential and ensure no vulnerable youngsters get left behind.”

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