Our story goes back a long way, right back to the start of the National Assembly for Wales in 1999.
When the National Assembly was established, one of its first acts was to set up a dedicated Education and Youth Engagement Service.
The Assembly wanted to give children and young people in Wales a fun and engaging way to learn about the National Assembly.
Since 2000, the Assembly’s Education and Youth Engagement team has worked with tens of thousands of children and young people across Wales.
Discover. Debate. Decide
A range of educational programmes take place in the National Assembly’s education centre, Siambr Hywel.
They help learners understand the National Assembly’s work and how they can get involved to influence what happens in their local area.
The Education and Youth Engagement team offer activities and opportunities to discuss political issues in schools and colleges across Wales. The National Assembly also focuses attention on young people outside of the school environment, to make sure everyone is included.
Signing the Youth Engagement Charter
To make sure young people in Wales can express their opinions and are listened to, the National Assembly signed up to a Youth Engagement Charter in 2014.
The Charter sets out the National Assembly’s commitment to make sure it listens to, respects and acts on what young people from across Wales say.
The Charter included a commitment to make it easier for young people to find out about the National Assembly and what it does, to take part in debates and to find out how their contributions make a difference.
Making a change
Since the National Assembly made its commitment, many young people and professionals (backed by the Campaign for a Children and Young People’s Assembly for Wales) told the National Assembly they would like to establish a Welsh Youth Parliament.
Assembly Members agreed.
In October 2016, during a meeting of the whole Assembly, it was decided that a youth parliament should be set up.
The National Assembly consulted over 5,000 young people in Wales to help decide what the Welsh Youth Parliament’s aim, membership, and work should be.