How to apply
Applications open at 9:00AM on 26 April 2021 and
close at 5:00PM on 21 May 2021.
Who can apply?
If you are a young person aged 13 to 17 years old on 21 May 2021 and living in Northern Ireland, you can apply.
What is the Northern Ireland Youth Assembly?
This is your chance to be a member of the first ever Northern Ireland Youth Assembly. It is an exciting opportunity for 90 young people aged 13 to 17 years old.The Northern Ireland Assembly makes laws about things like education, health, transport and the environment. Members of the Youth Assembly will have a unique opportunity to share their views and directly influence decisions taken by the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The Youth Assembly members will discuss the issues that they think are important and put forward their ideas. All the members will meet together twice a year in Parliament Buildings in meetings chaired by the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly. They will also meet more regularly in smaller groups (committees) throughout the year to discuss the issues and their views in greater detail. Those meetings may take place in Parliament Buildings or at other places in Northern Ireland.
Obviously, the nature of the meetings (virtual or face to face) will depend on the public health guidelines at the time.
Youth Assembly members will be appointed for a term of two years. It is anticipated that the first meeting will be held in June 2021.
What's in it for me?
The role of a Youth Assembly member may sound daunting but don’t worry! The most important thing is to be enthusiastic and show commitment. If you enjoy sharing ideas and discussing issues, this is for you.
We'll offer you a range of training and support to help you do this work. This may include finding out how the Assembly works, making presentations, conducting research and talking to experts about issues that matter to you.
There will be support for travel costs, for example when you need to come to Parliament Buildings. We will also make practical support available to make sure that this opportunity is open to everyone.
If selected, you will:
- - have opportunities to make an impact on decisions made by Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLAs);
- - improve and enhance your leadership skills;
- - make new friends and share experiences with a diverse group of young people;
- - gain experience of team working and improve your interpersonal skills;
- - develop skills and confidence in researching issues, communication and public speaking;
- - take an active role in meetings both face to face and online; and
- - enhance your CV and improve your employability.
Youth Assembly members will be required to commit to two years of membership between June 2021 and June 2023. They will attend:
- - Two Plenary sessions (full meetings) in the Assembly Chamber per year;
- - Regular small committee meetings; and
- - Relevant training sessions.
Members will be required do some preparation for these meetings. The nature of our meetings (virtual or face to face) will depend on the public health guidelines at the time. Some meetings will be held on weekdays and it is likely that others may take place on evenings or weekends.
How will Members be selected?
There are 90 places on the Youth Assembly.
When we receive your application, it will be anonymised. This means your name will not be visible during the selection process in order to make it fair for everyone.
We want to make sure that young people from all over Northern Ireland are represented. We will choose three young people from each of the 18 constituencies at random giving 54 members.
It is also important that the Youth Assembly represents the diversity of the youth population in Northern Ireland. We will select 36 members at random to ensure this balance. When all 90 places are filled, we will contact everyone who has applied.
What if I’m not selected?
Even if you’re not selected for the Youth Assembly, it’s not the end of the road. You will be able to take part in the Youth Assembly Consultation Forum. This will be an important group which will feed into the work of the Youth Assembly. It will be a first point of contact for the Youth Assembly members when they are researching the views of young people. In addition, if places become available on the Youth Assembly due to members leaving, we may contact you to offer you a place.