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Statement in relation to cessation of public sector funding

The Board of Trustees of the charity Young Enterprise Northern Ireland can confirm that its funding support from the Department of Education ceased on 31st May 2023.

This funding supported enterprise, entrepreneurship, and financial education for over 45,000 young people in primary and post-primary schools across Northern Ireland, targeting those in areas of greatest social need.

This cessation of funding will have a significant impact on the work of the charity in the year ahead which currently supports almost 100,000 young people annually. Young Enterprise programmes are recognised by education and business as growing the ambition and confidence of young people, developing vocational skills, and engaging young people in learning skills for success in future life.

The news of the funding cut comes just weeks after the value of the work of the charity and impact of its alumni were recognised by the United States President, Joe Biden, in his speech at Ulster University marking 25 years since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

Judith Totten MBE, Chair of the Young Enterprise NI charity, said:

“The charity recognises the difficult public sector funding situation following the publication of the Northern Ireland 2023-24 budget. However, we are clearly disappointed that the support for the enterprise, entrepreneurship and financial education of young people is being impacted in this way.

“We thank the Department of Education for their support over the years and will continue to engage closely with them to align our work to the needs of learners in the education system.

“The board will seek to minimise the impact on the young people we serve by working with our wider stakeholders, including the local and international business community, as we believe the value that young people derive from developing entrepreneurial skills is too important to them and the Northern Ireland economy to be impacted on this scale.”

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