From education to employment

Mims Davies launches new youth voice projects

Minister for Civil Society Mims Davies

Young people aged 10-25 will now be able to shape national policy thanks to three new youth voice projects being created, Minister for Civil Society Mims Davies announced today (27 Feb).

The projects meet three commitments from the Civil Society Strategy to encourage young people to participate in making national policy and will include:

  • A Youth Steering Group;
  • A Young Inspectors Group; and
  • Digital Youth engagement research

The projects will be delivered by a consortium of youth organisations led by the British Youth Council and will run as pilots until March 2020.

Mims Davies, Minister for Sport and Civil Society Society said:

We want young people to have a central role in shaping the future of our society.

Too often the work of government can feel distant from their real lives, but these new projects will give young people an extra voice, make them feel more valued, and show them that they can make a difference and their views can have a positive impact.

Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, Chair of the British Youth Council said:

As the national youth council, we believe that young people should be heard and have their views valued and acted upon, and we are proud to be working with all the partners involved to pilot new approaches to engaging young people in the policy process.

We’re looking forward to sharing the outcomes and lessons learned to show that not only is it possible to involve young people in policy making, but it’s necessary and beneficial for all.

30 young people from across England will be recruited for the Youth Groups to be involved in policy development and the monitoring and evaluation of national programmes. Regional partners will be targeting those with little or no youth voice experience and from seldom heard groups such as young carers and children in care to take part.

The Digital Youth engagement research project will explore how digital methods can be used to engage young people in policy making. The project will be led by The Mix, a charity which offers support to young people under 25, providing support and helping the young people design a digital tool that could be used in future to engage more young people in how policy is made.

A grant of £170,000 over 2019 – March 2020 has been awarded to the British Youth Council to lead the projects, in partnership with The Mix, Youth Focus North West, Youth Focus: North East and Youth Work Unit.

The announcement follows the recent Civil Society Strategy where the government outlined plans to engage meaningfully with young people when is is creating policy or designing programmes which affect them.

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