Llywydd commits to establishing a Youth Parliament

Published 19/10/2016   |   Last Updated 28/10/2016

‚ÄčThe National Assembly for Wales's Llywydd, Elin Jones AM, has announced her intention to work towards establishing a youth parliament.

She made the commitment while responding to a question to the Assembly Commission in Plenary today (19 October).

"The Commission already has a very successful approach to youth engagement, providing large numbers of young people with opportunities to influence and contribute to the work of Members and committees," the Llywydd said.

"Earlier this year the Assembly Commission agreed, as part of our new strategy for the Fifth Assembly, that we want to take this success even further.

"I certainly do want to see the establishment of a youth parliament early in this Assembly term.

"We have been working with the Children's Commissioner and CYPAW (Campaign for a Young People's Assembly for Wales) on the best way forward.

"We must take young people with us as we do this. The decisions we take affect their future and so their voices must be heard as an integral part of our discussions.

"We will be discussing our next steps at the Commission meeting in early November."

The Assembly already has a proud record in terms of youth engagement.

The Assembly's Communications team is leading the way in parliamentary engagement and has a long-established productive relationship with the children and young people of Wales.

During the last Assembly, the Commission took a conscious decision to focus its youth engagement efforts on drawing young people directly into the formal business of the Assembly, providing them with opportunities to influence the work of Members and committees.

Since then, the Assembly has established a youth work programme that has engaged more than 200 youth groups and a wide range of views in the Assembly's work, including those who are often without a voice (looked after children, disabled children and young carers).

In addition, upwards of 20,000 young people visit Siambr Hywel - the Assembly's dedicated resource for young people - or meet Assembly Members and our officers on an annual basis.