An ambitious ten-year strategy that seeks to create an Island where all young people feel that they belong, are meaningfully engaged and reach their potential has been unveiled.
Announced at the Youth Service’s Annual Conference on 7 November, which was attended by around 100 youth workers and young people, the strategy outlines a fresh approach to shaping the future of youth services.
Nigel Howard, Principal Youth Officer, said: ‘The Isle of Man Youth Service exists to give young people somewhere to go, something to do, and someone to talk to; supporting them to discover themselves, their aspirations, and their place in their community. I’m pleased to introduce this strategy and work towards completing its strategic priorities.’
The priorities laid out in the strategy are:
- Provide safe, well-equipped, and accessible youth facilities
- Deliver outdoor learning through the Outdoor Learning Centre
- Incorporate youth input for shaping the future of Youth Services
- Establish a pathway for youth to gain training, experiences, and employment
- Expand accessible School Holiday Provision across the Island
- Transition to a cashless, digital, and paperless Youth Service for the future
Other highlights of the conference included an update on the new Outdoor Learning Centre (formerly known as Ardwhallan) the launch of the Duke of Edinburgh programme for 2024 and a presentation about a new ‘Area Youth Work’ model that is now in place.
The evening concluded with a video and presentation from young people who went on a residential trip to the Lake District, and 12 young individuals received AQA awards for their contributions to the evolving 'young workforce model’.
Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, Julie Edge MHK, said: ‘The Youth Service's comprehensive strategy reflects our dedication to fostering a supportive environment for young people. The Youth Service Conference marks a milestone in our commitment to recognising and celebrating the efforts of both staff and young volunteers.
I’d like to thank the youth workers, young people and supportive parents and guardians who help make the Island a thriving and enriching community for all.’