Giving young people a voice in South Lanarkshire

Proposals to put young people at the heart of the decision-making process in South Lanarkshire have been approved.

A number of modern apprentices will be appointed to engage with young people.

The latest move will see six modern apprentices recruited to engage directly with young people across the area.

Councillor Katy Loudon, chairwoman of the education resources committee, said: “We believe that the best way to communicate with young people is through young people themselves.

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“The modern apprentices will be mentored through the Youth, Family and Community Learning Services to develop the skills they require to enable them to communicate effectively with young people in a full range of settings.

“They will be in a position to engage positively with other young people and get responses from them on the things that truly matter in their lives, thus enabling more young people to really make a difference.

“Most young people live in a digital world and it is imperative that information sharing and consultation with them happens at the optimum times when they are most engaged with technology.

“As mentors, the modern apprentices will engage with young people through digital technology as well as a range of other mediums.”

A digital participation tool will be developed to support large scale participation from young people, to encourage and enable more young people to take part in the democratic process and influence change.

The apprentices will work in local areas as well as a team, where appropriate.

Although the focus will be on engaging digitally, there will be continued face-to-face youth work too.

Councillor Julia Marrs, the council’s spokesperson for youth, said: “The modern apprentices will work with young people of differing backgrounds and interests.

“They will be able to move from community to community to work with other young people in those communities to develop their skills and confidence.”

During the Year of Young People in 2018, the council committed to engage with young people about their decision making.

An extensive consultation was carried out, resulting in the modern apprentice scheme being agreed by the council earlier this month.