Mid and West Wales AM Jones on why the formation of a Welsh Youth Parliament is a positive step forward
HOW would you like to represent Llanelli in our first Youth Parliament?
If you live in Wales, or get your education in Wales you can put yourself forward, you’ll need to be at least 11 years old, and no older than 17 by the last day of the election, which is 25 November. Applications are now open, and close on September 30.
As a former chair of the National Assembly’s Children and Young People and an advocate for the voice of our youth in Wales I’m delighted to see we will get a youth parliament on a national level.
While there are plenty of good examples of councils and other bodies selecting young people to speak in youth forums, Wales was being left behind because of a lack of a youth parliament on a national level.
The Welsh Youth Parliament will work with the National Assembly for Wales to make sure the voice of children and young people is heard by those with the power to make change in Wales.
The Welsh Youth Parliament will be made up of 60 members. The 40 youth parliamentarians will be elected in November 2018. The remaining 20 will be elected by partner organisations.
Putting the youth parliament together this way will make sure we have representation from diverse groups of young people.
All 60 Welsh Youth Parliament members will have equal status with the same roles and responsibilities.
I’m really pleased that two of the 20 Welsh Youth Parliament members elected by selected partner organisations will come from an organisation I led, Youth Cymru.
It is one of 13 organisations selected as partner organisations of the Welsh Youth Parliament.
If you are a young person I hope you would consider this, because the parliament will be a completely new way for young people to have their say on issues that matter to them.
Before you can vote for your Welsh Youth Parliament Member, you’ll need to register. You can register from now until November 16 at www.youthparliament.wales