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Linares outlines youth changes

The Gibraltar Youth Service has undergone a number of significant changes in the past year, most noticeably within its structure and staffing arrangements, Minister for Sports, Culture, Heritage and Youth Steven Linares, told Parliament during the budget session. This, he said, had led to an increase in face to face work with more young people, and the department is also reaching out to other Government departments, agencies and NGOs.

“The Youth Service is working with them by advocating an improvement and better services for young people in our community,” he said. Since last September, he added, all Youth Service Staff members completed a consultation with Unite the Union, the Human Resources Department and Government legal officers.

Aside from supporting the work carried out at the Youth clubs and Youth Projects the service has also offered the locally recognised and assessed course in ‘Understanding Youth Work’ to volunteers and prospective Youth Support Workers.

“This year Trainees were given a choice between the assessed or the non-assessed route. The non-assessed route offered the trainee a certificate of attendance along with the chance to volunteer their services to various youth work projects. Due to the success of their training, plans are at an advanced stage to offer “Understanding Youth Work” training to anyone interested in working with young people as from October 2016,” he said.

The Youth Service, added Mr Linares, was also committed to personal professional development and it constantly continues to update its skills audit of all its employees.

Mr Linares also reported that the Youth Advisory Council had been expanded.

“The Duke of Edinburgh Award, Guides and Scouts had provided advice to Government about issues that affected young people. In order to improve services for young people we have included representatives in the Council from the RGP, the Education Department, the GHA, the Care Agency and also the Drugs Coordinator.”

CITY HALL WORKS

The City Hall has seen the installation of a lift and now there are plans afoot to consolidate the façade of the building as well as refurbishment of the Mayor’s Parlour, informed Mr Linares.

In subsequent years, he said, the community would be able to count on an even bigger and better National Gallery and a fitting hall for Gibraltar’s mayors and their functions.

“This will include the housing of all the Government’s collection of artworks, and the development of the third floor once Gibtelecom moves out to its new premises,” he placed on record.