The British Youth Council has reached out to welcome the new Minister, Lord Kamall, who now has responsibility for policy relating to children and young people at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The new appointment follows the commencement of Liz Truss MP’s tenure as Prime Minister.
The youth-led charity used the moment as an opportunity to reiterate the priorities of young people with a particular focus on the cost of living, mental health, the climate emergency and a fairer democracy.
Commenting on the appointment of the new minister, Sarah Staples, Chair of the British Youth Council said: “We welcome the appointment of a new minister with responsibility for civil society and young people. We have a list of pleas for the government and it’s our role to make sure young people’s voices stay at the heart of decision-making affecting their lives, their communities and wider society.
“Young people want to see action on the cost of living crisis, the climate emergency, mental health and they want to see a fairer more equal democracy. We’ll be highlighting these crucial issues to the new minister, and seeking clarification on the government’s plans to take action.”
The National Youth Council, which represents millions of young people, will write to welcome the Minister for Civil Society and Young People reminding the department of young people’s priorities and reiterating its long-standing call for a dedicated youth minister. The British Youth Council has long-held concerns for the size of the brief which will include other responsibilities. Successive Governments have ignored cross-party support for the reintroduction of the role which has been vacant since 2010.
Osaro Otobo, Deputy Chair of the British Youth Council said: “It’s sad that we have to continue to protest the importance of prioritising young people’s voices in the decision-making of government. We know from our own work in this area, that when young people are given a fulsome and meaningful opportunity to engage in shaping their future they will grab the opportunity with both hands.
“We feel appointing a minister with sole responsibility for children and young people would form an integral part of making sure young people’s voices are heard right across government.”
The national charity, which has a long history of supporting young people to define their own actions for change, has been campaigning and amplifying the voices of young people on a number of issues. Child poverty, the climate emergency, mental health and its recently renewed efforts to address democratic unfairness through its campaign for votes at 16 are just some of the issues facing young people. These campaigns form part of the British Youth Council’s vision for a world where young people’s views are not only sought but acted upon.