By Lucy Ashton
A renewed commitment for young people to play a key role in Scottish politics has been made today by the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Youth Parliament.
The Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Alison Johnstone MSP, and the Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP), Josh Kennedy MYSP, signed the Working in Partnership agreement. It will see both organisations working more closely together on a range of issues to increase young people’s representation and involvement in the work of the Parliament, with young people’s rights placed at the heart of the work being undertaken.
This will include the Scottish Parliament hosting a sitting of the Scottish Youth Parliament once every two years; developing relationships between Members of both Parliaments; ensuring young people can contribute to committee inquiries and providing opportunities for both staff teams to connect with each other to identify opportunities for collaboration.
Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Alison Johnstone MSP, pictured right, said: “Young people across the world have shown what activism and having a strong voice can do. We want to harness this commitment to ensure the views of young people are better reflected within the work of the Parliament.”
Josh Kennedy MYSP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said: “Last week the Scottish Youth Parliament welcomed 150 new Members following our 2021 elections. Throughout our elections young people highlighted the issues they want to see changed from mental health, to education, to the climate emergency.
“In signing this partnership, the Scottish Parliament and SYP are reaffirming our joint commitment to building a relationship between MSYPs, MSPs & Parliament. By supporting MSYPs and MSPs to work together we will ensure young people’s voices at the centre of decision making.”
This Working in Partnership agreement signed today continues the work that started in 2018, which included a sitting of the Scottish Youth Parliament in October 2019; closer working between Scottish Parliament committees and the SYP; and an ongoing programme of training and support for SYP members to engage meaningfully in the parliamentary processes.