Swapping classrooms for council offices as they 'take on' borough's top jobs
As part of a national event called Takeover Day, young people are being given chances to work with adults for the day and develop decision-making skills.
About 30 teenagers from secondary schools, colleges, youth centres and other youth participation projects in the borough will shadow senior officers at both Wandsworth Council and Wandsworth Police on Friday, November 23. Both organisations are supporting the event, which is organised by the Children’s Commissioner for England.
The Wandsworth Youth Council wants as many young people as possible to take part. The Youth Council – comprising of young people with a passion for their community – has in recent years established itself as a key forum for consulting and involving young people in decisions about council services.
It has written to senior officers and councillors asking them to provide interesting opportunities and experiences such as finding out how Wandsworth Council works behind the scenes, co-chairing part of a meeting and helping make decisions that affect young people.
Wandsworth’s executive member for education and children’s services, Councillor Kathy Tracey, said: “I am excited to see what fresh ideas, insight and creativity the young people taking part in Takeover Day will bring with them. Not only will they be getting a chance to see what officers at the council do on a day-to-day basis, but they will also have opportunities to have their say over the various services we are responsible for.
“The council is committed to listening to young people and, where possible, involving them in the work we do – and if they work hard, there is nothing stopping them from working in influential roles for real one day.”
Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England said:
“The day provides a brilliant opportunity for children and young people to make a difference to their communities, put their views across and challenge the stereotypes about them that we hear too often. Children and young people have so much to offer. They bring ideas, imagination and energy which can really make a difference to organisations.”
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In 2011, thousands of children and young people across the country worked with organisations including businesses, schools, police and fire services, newspapers, broadcasters, local councils, MPs, dozens of museums, charities and Government departments.
November 19, 2012