Headlines: January 29th, 2004

Almost half a million pounds is being made available to train youth workers in Wales. It follows the introduction of a new policy, which places councils under an obligation to set up systems for working with young people, which include listening to their needs.The extra money, announced by Jane Davidson, the Welsh Assembly Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning, will help people at all levels of youth work to get training to obtain a range of qualifications and to ensure that they receive adequate continued professional development. The Minister said the money was an indication of the important part played by youth workers in the implementation of “Extending Entitlements”, the Welsh Assembly Government’s policy for young people from 11-25. Under the policy every local councils in Wales is required to set up a Young People’s Partnership, with representatives from the statutory and voluntary sectors. They are charged with working collaboratively to develop and maintain a young people centred strategy which will ensure that 10 entitlements set out in the policy are delivered, that the effectiveness of delivery is monitored, and that the views of young people are listened to.Jane Davidson said provision for young people now had a statutory basis and the Young People’s Partnerships would develop a network of services, support and opportunities to enable young people to access their entitlements.

“We need to ensure that those staff who have a core role in working directly face to face with young people, in particular part time staff, are given staff development opportunities which equip them with further skills to work with young people,” she added.