NI Youth Assembly: Speaker Alex Maskey urges young people to apply

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There will be 54 members drawn from NI Assembly constituencies and 36 from specific sections of the community

Does a teenager in your life have burning political ambitions? Or maybe you are under 18 and want a seat at the heart of government?

Young people across Northern Ireland are being encouraged to apply for a place on a new Youth Assembly.

"It's vital that we involve our next generation in the democratic process," said Assembly Speaker Alex Maskey.

"We hope that young people from across our society seize this opportunity to make a difference."

There will be 90 members, mirroring the number of assembly members and people aged 13 to 17 can apply.

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Assembly Speaker Alex Maskey said he was "genuinely looking forward" to chairing the Youth Assembly

There will be two plenary sittings a year and up to four scrutiny committees.

Mr Maskey urged young people to apply and said he was "genuinely looking forward" to chairing the new initiative.

"Too often young people have felt that they do not have influence on the laws and programmed that directly affect them," he said,

"The Youth Assembly aims to change this - and I know that our society will be better for their involvement."

You can apply online via the Youth Assembly website.