Since my last article I have attended the 66th SYP sitting and our AGM which was held this month in Stranraer.
My time as an SYP trustee and leader of the award-winning SYP creative communications team sadly came to an end after a very exciting and jam-packed year. The work our organisation does every day to improve the lives of young people the length and breadth of our country is truly inspiring. To have played my part in the strategic direction of the charity for the previous year was a privilege and it is an experience I am very grateful for.
Moving forward, I have just under one more year left as the MSYP for Argyll & Bute. In the year ahead, I aim to build on my manifesto commitments.
We must address the issue of the lack of suitable mental health provisions for young people across the constituency. Young people need to be aware of the options open to them in their lives after school education. If that takes the form of apprenticeships, further education or work young people need to be made more aware of what is on offer. I was also re-elected on a manifesto commitment to campaign for a better subject variety in schools and colleges. And I was re-elected to ensure fair representation of all the incredible young people living in Argyll & Bute.
Simply through detailed and regular consultations with young people and actually getting out and speaking to young people affected by the decisions of key stakeholders we can ensure fair representation.
For better subject variety in education, despite being a more complicated issue, is something I will drive forward with into the year ahead and in my conversations with head teachers and senior management teams in our area.
At our sitting in the Borders earlier this month, we voted for SYP’s new national campaign, which I am delighted to say, is public transport. Clearly, this topic is an issue for many young people in Argyll and Bute, who for far too long have been required to live with little to no student discounts, minimised confidence in the reliability of services and having to pay above and beyond to travel to school, college, university and work. I will be placing pressure on key figures within the companies that supply our much needed public transport and in many cases locally, provide lifeline services as it must improve.
If young people are expected to put up with being paid less for the same jobs than their older peers then public transport prices and services must truly reflect this difference.