The General Workers’ Union (GWU) – Youths is a Voluntary Organisation, affiliated to and forming part of the GWU. The GWU – Youths represents individuals who are considered youths, i.e. under 35 years of age. The said section also participates in national and international affairs affecting youth in society. In Malta, the GWU Youths is part of the Kunsill Nazzjonali għaż-Żgħażagħ (KNŻ) and internationally at the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).
The Young Workers Movement was founded on August 27, 1944, when a rally for young workers was organised by the GWU (a year later after the GWU itself was founded). The first Executive Committee was held on 11 May 1945. Any GWU member under the age of thirty-five (35) is also automatically considered part of the GWU – Youths at no additional cost. GWU – Youths is formed by students, employed or unemployed youth. Youths are the driving force for change and equality, a movement that helps promote a more inclusive and sustainable civil society.
The main target audience is youths in general. Through this initiative youths of any gender, with different educational backgrounds and from different work sectors can participate in our activities and gain further knowledge on their employment rights. Thus, active citizenship, social inclusion, and solidarity for all will be at the core of these activities. The GWU-Youths will target youths in a non-formal learning environment, mobility, and information sharing. Youths will share their working experience and learn from each others’ skills and difficulties that they may face in their studies or at work. This will lead the young participants to be more confident and improve their self-esteem through social integration.
These activities will provide confidence and create team spirit in the individuals, which in turn, will aid them to overcome peer pressure, parental expectations, exam stress and cyberbullying because they will have a contact point, which can support them.
Ultimately, the organisation promotes youths to become active citizens within Non-profit Organisations, where they will be given the opportunity to continue developing within the organisation and will contribute to society and thus will strengthen volunteering in Malta.
The objectives are as follows:
1. strengthen the work of GWU youths – volunteers
2. promote workers’ rights by means of the promotional material
3. promote volunteerism by training youths so that they are better equipped for the world of work 4. encourage more youths to join the organisation and thus promote volunteerism as great importance to society
5. provide the right environment for the youth volunteers to improve their skills in leadership, communication and organisation skills.
The vision for the youths
The GWU Youths initiative ties in with the vision of “greater democratic participation, equitable economic and social progress for all, and inclusive change”.
The GWU Youths Plan:
– Social Inclusion – will improve the well-being and active participation of young people with fewer opportunities, including but not limited to immigrant youth, youth at risk of poverty, gender diverse youth, and LGBTIQ youth
– Promotes a community that encourages equality in our society and in the workplace, this is reflected in our equality and mental health policies
– Encourages and supports inclusion in community life
– Assists in the labour market
– Organises voluntary and community activities – young people will be more active in the community through socialising at training, conferences, stalls and workshops.
The initiative is one that will further strengthen National Youth Policy 2015 – 2020 through its social inclusion, volunteering and community work and provides an action plan.