The British Youth Council and UK Youth Parliament have released details of Britain’s largest ballot of young people. The ballot called on young people to choose the issues to be debated in the House of Commons by young elected representatives. A curriculum to prepare us for life, transport, work experience, votes at 16 and protecting LGBT+ people all came out as top issues for young people across the UK.
This year’s campaign has seen 948,677 young people take part, in meaning the consultation remains one of the biggest youth consultations of its kind in UK history, with nearly 1 in 6 of all young people aged 11-18, taking part.
The Make Your Mark ballot is supported by Local Authorities, Parliament, The British Youth Council and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. It gives young people across the country a say on what is to be debated by Members of Youth Parliament in their annual House of Commons debate, which will be held on 10th November.
The five issues that have been prioritised are:
- A Curriculum to prepare us for life – Schools should cover topics including finance, sex and relationships and politics in the curriculum.
- Transport – Make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all.
- Work Experience hubs for 11-18 year olds – Knowing where to find work experience can be challenging. Government should create an online space to help young people with this
- Votes at 16 – Give 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote in all elections/referendums.
- Protect LGBT+ People – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender+ young people deserve to be treated the same as everyone else; discrimination needs to be challenged.
Anna Rose Barker, Chair, British Youth Council said: “Young people have made it absolutely clear they want a curriculum that prepares them for life. This is the fifth time its come out as a priority for young people – it’s imperative the Government act now to address this reoccurring issue!
“Make Your Mark continues to reach out to so many young people across the UK and its important politicians and decision makers sit up and listen to what young people have to say”.
Each issue will become the topics of debate within the chamber on Friday 10th November during the UK Youth Parliament’s seventh sitting in the House of Commons. This years debate is due to be chaired by John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons who has chaired every debate in the House of Commons since their first sitting in 2009.
The sitting of youth parliamentarians is still the only time anyone other than MPs debate on the famous green benches with MPs only recently granting access for this new term of Parliament. The debates will be concluded with a vote to decide on which issues should become their priority campaign in 2018.