UpRisers take part in Manchester City Council event

UpRisers take part in Manchester City Council event

December 4, 2017

This month, Manchester City Council invited our UpRisers to join elected members for a special Economy Scrutiny Committee meeting to discuss the issues that young people feel most strongly about in the city, their barriers and ideas for change.

This unique opportunity, to see behind the doors of power, was attended by UpRisers Tom Stockton and Sam Pilkington.

Tom has written us an access-all-areas write up of this insightful afternoon.

 

As part of a special Economy Scrutiny Committee Seminar held by Manchester City Council UpRising were invited to send representatives to give their voice on issues affecting the city’s young people today.

Through this opportunity, we were able to gain a real insight behind the doors of power and influence the council’s perception of young people themselves and the issues they truly care about.

The meeting was attended jointly by elected members of the council and representatives from youth organisations across the city including; Manchester Young Lives, Manchester Youth Council, The Manchester College, Sharp Futures and Reclaim.

The session began with presentations by young people laying down challenges to Manchester City Council on aspects of the lives of young people in the city related to the economy. The challenges presented revolved around apprenticeships, careers advice, wages, transport and pathways to the workplace.

None of the young people presenting seemed daunted by the grandiose surroundings of the Council Chambers and captivated those in the room with the power to influence political decisions.

We then broke off into workshops to consider three themed areas noted by a recent report on young people in Manchester; Curriculum for Life; Pathways through education and into work; and Affordability of living and working in the City. This was an excellent opportunity to network with other young people, to offer our opinions to elected members 1 on 1 and to note similarities and differences in our opinions on what mattered most to young people.

The outcome of these workshops were then presented back to the elected members as well as the deputy leader of the council and it was decided that young people would be more involved in future sessions due to the success of this seminar which gives the young people of Manchester the opportunity to hold the council to account on the recommendations made at this session in the new year.

Overall the experience was both inspiring and motivating, whilst it seemed odd to sit in a large room with microphones on the seats and formal procedures, the issues discussed were the same as those which my friends and I often talk about at home.

It felt good that these issues were now being treated as a priority by people in power and best of all coming straight from the horse’s mouth.

Among the recommendations made, my favourites were the notion of a central careerhub for the young people of Greater Manchester where the best resources can be pooled and  an increase in wages for apprenticeships and compulsory work experience for young people 11-18 - to ease the transition from education to workplace.

Being able to see that your voice has an influence on decisions made that affect you, is the best way to get young people involved in the political process, a key aim of UpRising as an organisation and something most definitely evidenced by this event.”

Sam and Tom have been invited to a follow up meeting in 2018 - and we’ll update you as to how they get on!