New online tool to involve young people in policy-making

Young people from across the country will be invited to share their views on key issues with the government using a new digital platform launched today (2 July).

The Involved’ Instagram page will be a major step in engaging young people aged 13-25 around decisions made at the heart of government, by asking questions through the app’s polling and stories functions. 

Responses will then feed directly into live public consultations and wider policy making across government departments.

The tool, supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and managed by the British Youth Council, has been designed by a group of 30 young people aged between 15 and 24 set up last year to offer a youth perspective on decisions made in government. 

The Youth Steering Group has already provided valuable advice to Ministers on issues including youth violence, volunteering, youth services and the coronavirus outbreak.

In the coming weeks young people will be invited to respond to a range of questions on the ‘Involved’ page regarding the impact coronavirus has had on their lives.

For example, young people will be asked how they feel about social distancing measures, what support they would like in accessing information about coronavirus and what extra help they feel they need during this time.

Harley Taylor, of the Youth Steering Group, said: 

“Young people are passionate about seeing social change in their communities and must be able to participate in the decision making of government. Involved will serve as an important opportunity to gauge young people’s views on the hot topics within government.”

Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Barran said:

“Young people often feel like it is hard to get their voices heard. Involved will give them an easy way to contribute their views on issues that matter to them, helping our decisions as Ministers to reflect these better.

“This commitment to involve young people’s views in policy making is part of our ambitious, long-term plan to support them to thrive as we rebuild and recover from the coronavirus outbreak.”

The tool follows the Chancellor’s announcement last year of a £500 million Youth Investment Fund for the five years from April 2020, to give young people somewhere to go, something positive to do and someone to speak to.

The British Youth Council have worked with The Mix, Youth Focus North West, Youth Focus: North East and Youth Work Unit in Yorkshire and Humber to deliver the project.

The Youth Steering Group is currently recruiting for new members. Young people aged 16-25 are encouraged to apply in writing, by video message or voice note and contact Applications close on 12th July 2020.

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