10.8 Current debates and reforms
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The Action Plan of the National Youth Policy for 2022-2024 (Plan) notes that one of the problems of the implementation of the youth policy is that the system of work with youth is not sufficiently developed, the development of the youth employment infrastructure is not ensured, therefore the goal of the implementation of the youth policy defined in the plan is to develop and coordinate system of work with youth and ensure the development of youth employment infrastructure. In order to include as many young people as possible in youth leisure activities, especially young people from remote areas, it is necessary to develop new forms of work with young people. The development of forms of work with youth could be used as one of the possible ways of improving youth leisure employment. It is planned to organize trainings aimed at improving the system of work with youth, finance the creation of open youth centers and open youth spaces and projects, to award scholarships to specialists working with youth, to promote the development of work with youth in the regions. The plan envisages the improvement of youth-friendly infrastructure in order to ensure opportunities for young people to receive leisure employment services in their residential area. It is planned to establish and develop relations with youth organizations operating in Lithuania and organizations working with youth, to encourage cooperation between youth organizations and organizations working with youth operating in Lithuania and abroad.
According to the 2022 study of the situation of work with youth in Lithuania, very important requirements, regulated specifically at the level of the law, are the requirements for open youth centers (AJC) and open youth spaces (AJE) when working with youth, to provide services to young people free of charge and to organize activities in such a way that AJC and AJE would ensure the implementation of activities after school hours and during school holidays for students of general education. Meanwhile, other forms of work with youth and organizations applying relevant forms of work with youth are not set by law, nor are there any requirements or operational goals. However, the requirement to provide services free of charge would be important not only for organizing open youth work, but also for other forms of youth work. The same study states that of all forms of youth work, open youth work is the most comprehensively regulated. While ensuring the further improvement of the legal regulation of the system of open work with youth, it is recommended to consider the possibility of preparing and approving the performance and quality standards of the bodies organizing open work (AJC and AJE).
The 2022-2024 Action Plan of the National Youth Policy emphasizes that in most municipalities the youth-friendly infrastructure is not sufficiently adapted and that it is difficult for some young people, especially young people living in rural areas, to get leisure employment services in their residential area, therefore it is noted that it is necessary to develop not only open work with youth in Lithuanian municipalities, but also other forms of work with youth - mobile work with youth or work with youth on the street, as well as the development of practical skills of youth.