//Mayor champions the youth voice

Published 1st July 2019 at 3:44pm

Over the past few months, we’ve seen the difference young people can make when they join forces and speak up about issues that they’re passionate about.

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region (SCR) has also been harnessing that powerful voice, as he met with representatives of the Yorkshire and Humber Youth Voice and Sheffield City Region Youth Combined Authority.

The Youth Combined Authority (YCA), is made up of members aged between 13 to 18 from all nine local authorities in the region. Their remit is to hold the Mayor to account on issues that impact young people as well as contributing to the development of new policies and plans.

Mayor Dan Jarvis, said: “I’m always inspired when I meet with members of the Youth Combined Authority to see their energy and enthusiasm. It’s so important that we give the next generation an opportunity to have their say on issues that affect us all, even if some of them are not old enough to vote yet.”

In the second meeting of the YCA, the members quizzed the Mayor about his skills agenda and the work the Sheffield City Region is doing to develop an Employer’s Charter.

The Mayor responded by updating the YCA on the launch of a new Talent Bank programme and his investment in to the expansion of the Children’s University across South Yorkshire.

The SCR Employer’s Charter will set out basic standards for good business. The charter will work to address the pay gap between men and women, encourage flexible working and paying the Living wage.

YCA members agreed with equal pay for equal work and that men and women need to be paid equally for the same role. They also discussed the issue of age discrimination in the workplace. Members suggested there should be a competency system in place instead of one based on age.

Alyssa Butler, aged 15 from Barnsley said: “It’s great to hear about the work that the Mayor is doing to support young people and to help them make informed choices about their future careers. So many decisions nowadays are being made on behalf of young people and many politicians are not wanting to hear what we have to say. These decisions will have a huge impact on our future and it’s important that our views are heard. Being a member of the SCR Youth Combined Authority gives us a good platform to speak directly to the Mayor and provide input and raise issues with him.”

The Mayor was also asked to speak to more than 65 youth council and youth Parliament members from across Yorkshire and Humber at their annual residential.

Mayor Jarvis continued: “I am used to public speaking and addressing Parliament, but I always find that I get the most scrutiny and challenge from young aspiring politicians, which is great to see.

“They wanted to know what inspired me to become a MP and Mayor of the Sheffield City Region and I was happy to tell them. It’s the responsibility of my generation to prepare the next generation for the challenges that lie ahead – but we cannot do this without harnessing all the talents and potential that they have to offer; nor can we do this unless we give them a voice.”