How to become a Member of Youth Parliament: Dominic's story
Are you interested in politics? Meet Dominic and find out his life as a Member of Youth Parliament for Barnsley (Yorkshire and the Humber). Part of our Bitesize world of work series.
Can you explain your job in one sentence?
I represent the issues and interests of young people in Barnsley by working with others, listening to their voices, and ensuring that young people are at the heart of decision making.
What skills do you use in your role?
I do a lot of public speaking which means I have to be confident, listen to other people, and respond to questions. I attend meetings where I also use my communication skills.
I need resilience and patience because some issues can take time to resolve or a campaign might not be building attention as quickly as I'd like.
What did you study at school?
I chose French, History, and Music for my GCSE options. I went on to do A-levels in Politics, History, and Sociology.
I recently applied to do Politics at university. I want to pursue a career in politics because I want to help shape the decisions that improve people's lives.
Is this the job you always wanted to do?
I was involved in my school council and I saw how teachers didn't engage with all of the issues we raised. So, when the opportunity came to stand on the Local Youth Council, I saw it as a real chance to prove not just my worth but the worth of young people in society.
When I saw young people my age standing up in the House of Commons I decided it was always something I wanted to do. The Youth Council holds a series of elections for a number of posts. One of them is the Member of Youth Parliament, so I stood for that and got elected, which means I work more closely with the House of Commons.
I gave a fantastic speech in the House of Commons at the end of 2018, and I’m very proud of that.
- Network. This means talking to different people who you might be able to work with in the future
- Take an active interest in what’s happening, not just nationally but locally as well
- Don’t waste time. Don’t make excuses, make changes.
What to expect if you want to be a politician
Experience in Youth Parliament can be the first step toward a career as a politician. Members of Parliament (MPs) are elected officials who represent people of the UK in the House of Commons.
- MP salary: £74,000 to £142,000 per year
- MP working hours: 44 to 46 hours per week
Typical entry requirements: The only way to become an MP is to be elected. Each political party has its own selection procedure. Normally, you must get the support of your party's nominating officer before you can become the prospective candidate. Most people show their commitment through campaigning and volunteering for their political party and most of them have another career. You can get other useful experience from:
- serving as a local councillor
- being active in a trade union
- being involved in student politics
- working as a researcher or caseworker for an existing MP.
This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)