What is a Youth Assembly?
The Youth Assembly is exactly that… an Assembly for Youth – a platform designed to be used by young people to have their voices heard. The core age range of the members will be 13 to 17, but there will be an upper age limit of 21 to ensure diverse representation. The Youth Assembly will provide young people with direct access to the decision-makers at the heart of our democracy.
Just as with the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Youth Assembly will have 90 members. It will hold committee meetings to deal with specific issues, sessions will be presided over by the Speaker, and debates will most likely take place in the Assembly Chamber in Parliament Buildings.
Why do we need one?
The Assembly makes laws that affect all of us. Assembly Members are elected by you to make decisions to help make your lives better. Everyone should have an opportunity to have their say on how that is done – especially young people.
The next generation will be the ones growing up with the laws and policies that are put in place today. The Youth Assembly is not only a way for young people to help shape legislation and discuss issues that are important to them, but it will also be a mechanism for them to affect change.
How will it work?
The Youth Assembly is still at a very early stage – a lot of details still need to be ironed out, but that’s on purpose! We want young people to help shape and develop how the Youth Assembly will work, what issues it will deal with, and how.
Young people in Northern Ireland will be the driving force behind how the Youth Assembly is established and developed. The idea for a Youth Assembly here has been in development for some time. We’ve looked at other youth forums and spoken to many people involved in the youth sector and voluntary and community groups about how it will work. But, in order to help shape the Youth Assembly’s work, we really need young people to get involved.
I’m a young person. I want to get involved!
Great, we’d love to hear from you. First step is to get yourself on our mailing list and we’ll send you everything you need to know. Sign up in the box below. We’ll be asking you for your views on what you want from a Youth Assembly very soon, so get signed up so you don’t miss out. Once we find out what you have to say, we’ll be one step closer to recruiting our 90 young representatives and getting the first Youth Assembly session up and running!
Thank you for your interest in the Youth Assembly. It’s been some time in the making, but we’re ready and we can’t wait to get started….