Young people across Wales are being encouraged to register to vote for the 2021 Youth Parliament election, due to take place in November.

Registration opens today on the Welsh Youth Parliament website, with the process taking five minutes.

Registration remains open until November 12, with those aged 11 to 18 eligible to vote.

November’s election will elect Wales’ second youth parliament, made up of 60 young people in Wales who represent different areas and backgrounds.

Members meet regularly, consulting with young people and conducting inquiries, before bringing findings to the attention of Senedd Members.

Last time, the parliament chose to prioritise three topics: mental health, life skills in the curriculum, and plastic waste.

The online election will choose 40 Members to represent all regions of Wales, with the other 20 members put forward by partner organisations to ensure diverse representation.

The application process for interested partner organisations is also now open with organisations and charities invited to apply to work with the Youth Parliament and put forward potential representatives.

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To launch the registration process, former members of the Welsh Youth Parliament, Talulah Thomas and Cai Thomas Phillips, will host an online panel discussion coinciding with the Urdd’s Eisteddfod T.

The panel session is at 5pm, with a focus on the importance of young people’s relationship with democracy.

Talulah Thomas, who used to represent Clwyd South, said: “Be part of a Youth Parliament which gives us a voice on the issues that matter now and in our future.

“Register now to be able to vote in the Election, send in your ideas for topics and I also encourage you to consider standing to be a member too when the opportunity comes. Go for it - be part of something great.”

Cai Thomas Phillips, former member for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire said: "Young people's voices need to be at the heart of important decisions as we emerge from the pandemic; a better way of working, economic recovery after Covid and tackling environmental degradation.

“I really hope the next youth parliament will take the a chance to look at these issues and much more. It's an amazing opportunity for anyone to give new ideas and opinions to the decision makers."

Elin Jones, the Senedd’s Llywydd, said: “The first Welsh Youth Parliament showed us how passionate young people are about the issues which matter to them and their communities. Their voices need to be heard now more than ever.

“I encourage young people across Wales to get involved, to register to vote and be part of the conversation about the topics that should be prioritised by the next Youth Parliament. Your voice is powerful and your views are important to us all.”

More information about registration, topics and how to be part of the Welsh Youth Parliament are available on the Youth Parliament's website.

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