More than 2,000 youth workers have lost their jobs and 350 youth centres closed over the past two years because of Government cuts, according to a new report.
Unison said youth services across the UK have lost £60 million of funding since 2012.
Research by the union among 168 local authorities showed that three out of four had scaled back spending on youth services because of cuts.
Unison’s head of local government Heather Wakefield said: “Cuts to youth services lead to increased poverty, crime, higher youth unemployment and an increase in teenage pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases.
“These factors will have major knock-on effects on communities, the criminal justice system, the health service and the economy.
“Qualified youth workers, and youth support workers, are a vital part of our public services and provide real value to our communities, but Government spending cuts are creating a crisis with skilled workers forced out of the profession, with an increasing reliance on untrained staff and volunteers to work with vulnerable young people.”