UKYP 2013 House of Commons Debate: Media Roundup 19th November 2013

Copyright UK Parliament/ Roger Harris)

Copyright UK Parliament/ Roger Harris)

On Friday, 15th November 2013, 296 Members of the UK Youth Parliament gathered in the House of Commons to discuss five issues chosen by over 478,386 young people aged 11-18 in the Mark your Mark ballot.

In a debate chaired by Speaker of the House The Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP, and witnessed by the Deputy Leader and Shadow Leader of the House,  with Youth Minister Nick Hurd MP and Labour Chair of the Backbench Committee Natasha Engel MP, Members of Youth Parliament debated 5 topics from which ‘votes for 16 and 17 year olds in all public elections’ was prioritised as the UK priority campaign for 2014, whilst ‘a curriculum for life’ was voted as the priority campaign for England.

See all the media coverage below.

UK Youth Parliament meets in House of Commons

More than 300 young people aged 11 to 18-years-old have gathered in Westminster for the Youth Parliament.

It is the third year in a row the event has been held in the House of Commons chamber – the only time it is opened to non-MPs.

The morning session included debates on ‘A curriculum to prepare us for life’, ‘Zero tolerance to bullying in schools’ and ‘combating youth unemployment’.

Watch snippets of the House of Commons debates at BBC News


‘Old’ shouldn’t dominate politics, Youth Parliament told

The “priorities of the old” must not be allowed to dominate British politics, a minister has told a session of the Youth Parliament in the Commons.

Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society, also said it was a source of national shame that there were 58,000 under-25s without jobs in the UK. He said he agreed with the MYPs who said the young were not being properly trained for the world of work.

Nick Hurd said low voting levels by young people were a source of concern: “Because what I’m very clear about is that we cannot let the politics of this country and this place be dominated by the politics and priorities of old people. And if we’re not careful, there’s a real danger that we will.”

He pledged to champion the concerns raised by the UKYP at next week’s Cabinet meeting, telling them: “It is enormously important that we create the space for young people not just to be heard, and I think today has been really important in reinforcing that – the issues you raise are massive.”

Read more on this story at BBC News


Copyright UK Parliament/ Roger Harris)

Copyright UK Parliament/ Roger Harris)

Today in Youth Parliament

School Reporters from Holbrook Academy got the chance to make their own Today in Parliament programme, covering all the debates at the UK Youth Parliament Debate being held in the House of Commons in London.

The students wrote scripts, chose the best clips from each debate and recorded their programme in a radio studio at the BBC’s Millbank offices.

Listen to the full report at BBC News School Report


Social network sites ‘weapons of bullying’ – MSYP for Coatbridge and Chryston

Social networking sites are now the “weapons of bullying”, the House of Commons heard as it opened its doors to the Youth Parliament.

Member of Scottish Youth Parliament, Scott Lamond said that while victims of bullying once thought of their home as a safe haven from bullies, they could now be threatened and intimidated online.

He told a meeting of the Youth Parliament in the Commons: “Facebook, Twitter and the notorious – these are all things we have heard of in the news and these are now weapons of bullying.

“It used to be that young people could go home to a safe haven, now you can be accessed by bullies wherever you are in the world.”

Read more on this story at Asian Image


Copyright UK Parliament/ Roger Harris)

Copyright UK Parliament/ Roger Harris)

Youth Parliament debates need for ‘zero tolerance’ of homophobic bullying

Members of the Youth Parliament have debated the scourge of homophobic bullying in Britain’s schools.

The subject was raised as part of a wider discussion on bullying.

More than 300 youngsters aged 11 to 18 crowded into the House of Commons chamber for the Youth Parliament on Friday.

Perdita Blinkhorn, who represents young people in Medway, Kent, said schools needed to do more than say they had a zero-tolerance approach to bullying.

She said: “Recent statistics show that schools class bullying because of race 98% of the time, 95% of the time they class discrimination on the basis of disability but only just 50% of time schools class bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

“That to me speaks volumes – it says to me that zero-tolerance policies in schools is not the issue because so many schools have those. They say they are against bullying, of course they do. What it says to me is that schools have different values that they apply to bullying and it is how they perceive it.”

Read more on this at Pink News


Work experience ‘a waste of time’

Students on work experience placements should not be made to make tea and coffee or carry out menial tasks like photocopying, the House of Commons heard today.

Children in the Youth Parliament said placements were often poorly structured and a waste of time, as they called for the Government to change the national curriculum so that all students were offered at least one week’s work experience in a job of their choice.

Member of Youth Parliament for Leeds, Minhazul Abedin said often placements did not fulfil expectations.

He said: “A friend once described their work experience to me – a ‘tea-pouring, paper-pushing, ‘can I help you, sir? ideal’, that seems to be a re-occurring situation to those who want that extra step in life.

“Ninety-five percent of us have work experience but the majority of this is poorly structured, not helped by the fact that our stereotypes are constantly fulfilled – a waste of time.”

And Ruairi Kennedy, from Northern Ireland said: “We all know young people in our local areas whose work placements in the past have involved making tea, photocopying and shadowing, rather than the high quality work experience that they deserve.”

Read more on this story at the Belfast Telegraph


Copyright UK Parliament/ Roger Harris)

Copyright UK Parliament/ Roger Harris)

Plymouth teenager debates in Parliament

The National Youth Parliament has been in session at Westminster today, where a speech from a Plymouth teenager received a rapturous applause.

Harry Samuels is the Member of Youth Parliament for the city. He was taking part in a debate about what the youth parliament should turn its attention to for next year. The 16 year old said he wants to address youth unemployment and bullying.

Watch the interview at ITV West Country (E)