Young people’s engagement with both local and national politics is very important.
Discounting the period over the pandemic, each year I have welcomed groups of young people from across the constituency to Parliament.
I have regularly hosted an annual school leaders lunch. This brings together young people from secondary schools all across the constituency to discuss their future aspirations and to answer questions about Parliament or the constituency. I also recently met Craven Youth Council to discuss topics such as mental health, climate change and education.
Recently, I was pleased to be able to set up a meeting on safer streets in Skipton. Discussions were led by Chloe Thwaites, Youth Voice and Creative Engagement Officer from NYCC, with Zoe Metcalfe, the North Yorkshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner and North Yorkshire Police present. Pupils at The Skipton Academy had the opportunity to voice the issues they and their peers face on the streets of Skipton, as well as mind mapping solutions to the problems most commonly faced.
I strongly support apprenticeships and traineeships for young people. Apprenticeships give young people the opportunity to learn a valuable skill while earning at the same time but they can also raise the productivity of the businesses they join and I have always been proud to support them. Over the past few years, I have met apprentices from Skipton Building Society both in the constituency and in Westminster. The Building Society is the biggest employer in my constituency and their apprenticeship scheme allows school leavers and graduates to experience a number of roles within the company over the course of three years.