Youth forum ‘too formal’

Youth workers could make or break the UK Youth Parliament,
according to a review into its effectiveness.

The UKYP was set up to give young people between

11 and 18 the chance to influence national and local

While it had achieved “considerable success” during its
three-year existence, its future success or failure depended on
grass-roots support from youth workers and young people, says the

Youth workers give “invaluable support” to UKYP members but the
parliament’s weak links with youth organisations are limiting
its performance, the review suggests.

According to the report, carried out by the Office for Public
Management for the Department for Education and Skills, the UKYP
does not live up to the expectations of many of its stakeholders.
Its structure was found to be too rigid and formal, limiting its
appeal to young people.

Despite having a good ethnic mix, the findings suggest that the
UKYP does not include enough people from a wide range of social and
educational backgrounds, and members were perceived as middle class
and well-educated. Many feel that, as a result, the UKYP “should
not claim to represent all young people”.

None of the young people who took part in the research had heard
of the UKYP, and even once the concept had been explained, few
could imagine themselves being involved.

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