As part of its commitment to its employees’ continuing professional development, the Gibraltar Youth Service recently held a residential training weekend. The weekend involved a variety of learning and team building exercises focussing on an in depth and practical exploration of communication and young people’s behaviour in differing situations and circumstances. The training was delivered by two highly experienced and qualified UK Youth & Community Work trainers.
Twenty one employees were involved in the training at the Europa Retreat Centre. The training was for the Youth Service team but as the service is committed to a multi-agency approach, other departments who work with young people were invited to take part.
The programme consisted of a fun filled educational schedule of different communication techniques and games as well as different group activities. This was designed to encourage participants to be open about being self-reflective and to challenge themselves to be able to grow as practitioners in the field. The training provided the staff with transferrable skills, which they will be able to put into the practice of youth work.
Youth and Community Work Trainer, Moira Smyth, said: “It’s been a fantastic weekend! I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived, I think I came with a very colonial expectation that we were coming into help you to begin, and to have discovered the journey that you are on and that we were lucky enough to hit your team at a point where you are in a magical stage in your life. You don’t have to look to any other country, any other nation I think that what you’ve got is sound youth work. Certainly there are things to be developed and already have ideas for that and we can be a part of that picture if you would like. Working collaboratively you are getting the best out of everyone in the team”.
Renowned academic from YMCA, George Williams College, Lesley Buckland, said: “What was refreshingly different working with this team is that they really are a team in the truest sense. They are inspired and motivated and have got such potential to develop and to develop best practice in the context of Gibraltar. I think it’s important that it isn’t lost because what I see is for the future is that why not have Gibraltar leading the way for best practice? I think there is real opportunity to develop that and to export it if you like to other parts of Europe”.