Conservative Party Vice Chairman for Young People – Nigel Huddleston – has welcomed the announcement from the Minister for Civil Society – Mims Davies – that young people aged 10-25 will now be able to shape national policy through three new youth voice projects. The projects meet commitments to encourage young people to participate in making national policy laid out by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in the Civil Society Strategy 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. 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.

Nigel Huddleston, Conservative Party Vice Chairman for Young People said:

“This is a fantastic initiative that shows that this Conservative Government is serious about giving young people across society a voice in national policy. Partnering with youth groups and charities will allow the Government and DCMS to hear the input of the broadest possible cross-section of young people and will allow the younger generation to have a genuine and substantive role in tackling issues that affect them.

Earlier this month we saw the power of youth engagement with the climate change demonstrations and it is only right that young people have a say in policy issues like the environment, which will have a direct impact on them and on their futures. I congratulate the Civil Society Minister on this initiative and look forward to seeing the positive effects it brings to national policy.”

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.”