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10 November 2023    |    General

Interviews with SYP Candidates

SYP Elections 2023

The Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) is the democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people. Around 160 young people aged 14 – 25 are elected every two years to represent every part of Scotland and campaign for positive change.

From 8am on 6th November to 6pm on 19th November 2023, Scotland’s young people have the opportunity to vote for the Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament that will represent them for the next two years.

The votes from young people give MSYPs their democratic mandate to represent the views of Scotland’s young people. Over the past two years, the work of MSYPs has had a hugely positive impact on the lives of Scotland’s young people. Voting in the SYP elections is the best way to make sure that your views are reflected in the work of the Scottish Youth Parliament on local and national issues.

The results will be announced during the week beginning 20th November 2023.

Vote Here.

Andrew Will

I am 15 year old from Aberdeen, and I am extremely interested in Politics and debating. In my spare time I enjoy running as well as doing some LEGO on the side. On Thursdays, I volunteer at my local YMCA on Thursday’s where I support young people from the local Primary school through games, football and other activities.

  • Why are you standing for the SYP?

I am standing as a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament as I am keen to continue supporting the implementation of change which I have done so through my role as an MSYP for the last two years. I am keen to propose a motion and access opportunities which I was previously unable to access due to age constraints as well as continue to represent YMCA through the Youth Parliament.

  • Why would you be a good MSYP for YMCA Scotland?

2 principles which I uphold are honesty and integrity. I will be successful in the role of an MSYP’s as I am honest with others and transparent about myself and the work which I do. I can effectively collaborate and work alongside fellow MSYP’s and YMCA members in order to hear the issues facing them in their local area and come to an effective solution. Additionally, I am able to lead others and motivate others to participate in the work which I do, which will serve as instrumental in this role. In 2022, I was elected as the youngest ever MSYP, and since then have been able to represent YMCA through voting on motions, consulting with fellow MSYP’s and attending sittings where I had valuable input into national discussions. I believe I am the right candidate to continue in this role and deliver for the young people of Scotland.

  • What do you plan to achieve if elected?

If elected, I hope to propose a motion in line with the issues facing young people. Additionally, I would put myself forward for the role of deputy convener who are leaders within different SYP committees.

  • If you were Prime Minister/First Minister for the day, what would you do

If I were PM there are many things I would do however I will concentrate them into youth orientated activities. I would investigate the prospect of free train travel for young people as well as looking at the possibility of providing a free first degree for young people going to University ( In England and Wales) and cheaper accommodation for students across the UK. To address the cost of living, I would support households by increasing investment in renewable energy, enabling affordable, clean and sustainable energy generation as well as offering grants for households to insulate their houses. I would introduce a policy which requires all new council housing and public/government infrastructure to be high quality builds which can effectively retain heat in order to save on heating costs. I would lastly fast track the introduction of free school meals as soon as possible in order to meet the needs of young people within Primary Schools (P6 & P7). On a less serious note, I would love to walk around 10 Downing Street and the local area. Hopefully, I could be PM on a Wednesday as it would be good fun participating in PMQ’s.

Jonah Brooks

  • Why are you standing for the SYP?
Representing Young People is very important, and an amazing chance to be able to cast their dreams into the real world. Opportunities, in particular, are the most powerful things a person can have. I want to stand for that, and put in the effort to do it for the Young People of this country.
  • Why would you be a good MSYP for YMCA Scotland?
I am determined to do what I believe should be done. And what is that? That’s not for me to decide, it’s for the Youth to decide. What opportunities do they seek? How do they feel about the way this country is working with them? Are they happy with the way things are, or do they want change? As a 16-year-old myself, I can connect with the youngest amongst us and hear them. I attend school, clubs, groups, organisations, and many more. Across them all, and further out, I hope to be a gateway for kids and young adults alike to have a louder voice.
  • What do you plan to achieve if elected?
I plan to stand for changes where people have wanted change. I plan to listen to those who are talking. I plan to climb for those who are too shy to climb. I am nervous, and I am stressed, but so is everyone else. To break out of that, and to reach higher, I simply hope to speak for those who can’t. And in doing so, if elected, I would give it everything I have.
  • If you were Prime Minister/First Minister for the day, what would you do
As a young person, I would be aware of my inability to run the country. My speciality doesn’t involve control, or the decisions on behalf of other people. My role, if elected, would be to protect the voices of those around me. If I was Prime Minister for the day, and only one day, I would ask for nationwide feedback on how everything was going. What people are feeling about their current situation, or what they want to change. Change itself is powerful, as well as innovative. From these answers, which there would be millions, I would ensure that all the time spent reading them as possible would be devoted to it, and from there, some reasonable decisions can be made for the people.

Jack Wilkie

My name is Jack and I’m 19 I am a sessional youth worker, and my main hobbies are basketball and gaming. I’m standing to be an MSYP to bring changes to youth work, well-being and health and employment. The reason I would be a good MSYP for YMCA Scotland is that I have been part of the YMCA for 7 years as a young person and a staff member since January. I understand what YMCA Scotland wants to do such as creating safe spaces across Scotland and Vision 2030. During my work with the YMCA I have had a range of opportunities which include working with young people in clubs across Perth, speaking to councillors and politicians, and hosting events. 

  • What do you plan to achieve if elected?

My plan if I was elected would be to work to strengthen a few areas of our work. The areas closest to me that I really want to make a difference in is Youth Work funding as Youth workers helped guide and support me in hard areas of my life and I want to make sure that opportunity stays available for young people now. Employment is another area that I want to focus on to improve the opportunities surrounding apprenticeships, internships and volunteering. Lastly, currently in Perth 1 in 3 young people struggle with their mental health, which is why it is important to me to help create safe spaces for them to go to be able to discuss their feelings without judgement.  

  • If you were Prime Minister/First Minister for the day, what would you do

If I was the prime minister/ first minister I would increase the amount of opportunities for young people to gain internships or volunteer opportunity as well as focus on the health and wellbeing of society so we can build a healthy environment for young people to grow up in. 

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