AS THE Greater Manchester Youth Combined Authority (YCA) marks its second term in office, its young members – both existing and new – are gearing up for the busy year ahead.

The YCA is made up of 42 young people representing all boroughs of Greater Manchester who meet monthly to discuss and take forward key issues with the aim of benefiting young people across the city-region.

The group kick-started 2020 on Thursday, January 9, for its first meeting of the year – when they were joined by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, who talked with them about his vision for the coming months, which will include the launch of the Greater Manchester Apprenticeships and Careers System (GMACS).

Speaking at the meeting, Andy Burnham said: ‘I want to thank each and every member for their hard work and for what you have managed to achieve so far. You have really made a difference to the lives of young people across Greater Manchester, and I’m sure you will continue this success into the New Year. You’ve done a fantastic job, and you must continue to use your forum to challenge, to be critical and to hold us accountable to ensure the young voices of Greater Manchester are heard.”

In its first two years, the GMYCA has been involved in a vast range of enterprises that have helped to influence and shape a number of polices, strategies and decisions on a variety of issues affecting young people.

2019 saw the GMYCA develop and launch of Our Pass – a pass for 16-18-year-olds across Greater Manchester that gives the freedom to travel, work and learn, as well as other great benefits such as discounts and special offers. Since its launch in September 2019 Our Pass has been issued to more than 35,000 young people.

GMYCA member, Elle-Sue, said: “My highlight of the GMYCA was developing Our Pass for 16-18 year olds. It gave me an insight into different areas of work and enabled me to develop stronger teamwork skills.”

Members of the YCA team have also played an active role within the Greater Manchester community and have attended many high profile events such as Youth Select Committees on key issues like Curriculum for Life and knife crime. YCA members have also spoke at a Northern Power Futures conference and two Conferences of the North.

YCA members opened the Green Summit, have taken part in a question and answer session on stage with the Mayor of Greater Manchester and co-hosted the Meet Your Future event in April 2019.

The YCA also provides a critical voice and has often challenged and scrutinised the work of the Mayor of Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, providing advise on key issues and concerns of young people.

This work has been demonstrated through the work of the YCA’s three active Working Groups which include:

  • The Curriculum for Life group who shaped GMCA’s Life-Readiness Survey and called on employers to offer meaningful standards for work experience
  • Health group who developed the Children’s Health Charter and helped to improve the Manchester Healthy Schools programme
  • Environment Group who are organising and delivering the youth climate change event later this year

Promoting an active youth voice has been an integral part of the YCA, which has seen the first of its kind programme now being replicated across the UK.

The YCA is an inclusive body with diverse members who represent a significant number of young people, including Caribbean & African Health Network, The Proud Trust and Reclaim, with 2020 already seeing the YCA welcome new youth organisations into its assembly.

You can find more about the current youth organisations here.

 


Article Published: 16/01/2020 09:28 AM