10.7 Raising awareness about youth work
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The main source of information available to young people to know about youth work and opportunities for engagement is the Youth Information One Stop Shop (YIOSS). YIOSS is an information centre, run by youth workers, that works with young people to enable them to access information and advice in a safe and friendly environment. The centre's aim is to help young people find answers to questions about education, work, housing, health, relationships, money, leisure and cultural activities among others. It offers a drop-in service to all young people between the ages of 13 and 30 and strives to use modern technologies in order to facilitate access. The service is housed within Aġenzija Żgħażagħ’s main building and young people can use its services free of charge.
Another source of information on youth work opportunities available to young people is Aġenzija Żgħażagħ’s website. The website is continuously updating highlighting the main youth work activities that young people can engage in. Aside from the website, the agency also uses it’s facebook and Instagram pages to share information with young people.
At the end of each year the agency holds a 2-day stakeholder conference. During the first day of this conference the agency invites youth organisations working with and for young people and other partners in the youth field. The agency highlights the work it would have done with young people in that current year and also provides a framework for the following year’s priorities in the youth field targeting Strategy 1 of the National Youth Policy.
On the second day of the conference the agency invites youth workers exclusively. This is done for the purpose of building capacity within the profession. The agency again highlights the work it would have done with young people in that current year however with youth workers the focus would be solely on youth work activities. The conference creates a space where youth workers share their experiences and through a peer learning environment the best practices and the results obtained get shared.
Also, each year the National Youth Agency together with the European Union Programmes Agency organises the National Tool Fair. The aim of the Tool Fair is to promote quality in youth work and support capacity building of youth workers. The National Tool Fair provides an opportunity for participants to shape educational and experiential pathways, to run workshops and to share tools for learning with colleagues, as well as to participate in workshops conducted by peers. Also, beyond experiencing a wide variety of tools for learning, the National Tool Fair provided a space to reflect on youth work, give and receive feedback, pave the way for their transferability and further development. Participants in the National Tool Fair also enter the opportunity to participate in the International Tool Fair.
Also, each the National Youth Agency invites young people who would have finished formal schooling without certification to join the Youth.Inc programme. The Youth Youth.inc is an inclusive education programme, run by youth workers, based on applied learning, for young people between the age of 16 and 21. The aim of the programme is to help young people to improve their standard of education and gain more knowledge, values and skills to enter the labour market or gain qualifications to continue in further education and/or training.