Rhun’s column for the Holyhead and Anglesey Mail 24 05 17

Monday was the last chance for people to register to vote in the June 8th election. Too many will have missed the deadline, and we must keep on pressing the message that without a vote you have no voice. Getting people involved and engaged with politics is something that should be encouraged at a young age.

At Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern recently, I had the chance to discuss the idea of a Youth Parliament for Wales with students. The Assembly is currently consulting on this, and it’s important that young people themselves are involved in the process from the start.

A Youth Parliament for Wales would not only give young people an opportunity to express their opinions but would also raise awareness about political and parliamentary systems that have an effect on their lives. Most importantly it would give young people influence.

Why not have your say? Share your thoughts via the website www.youthparliament.wales

It’s also important that young people are given a taste of the world of work and that’s why I shared many pupils and parents’ disappointment after they were told that work experience placements would not be offered to year 10 and 12 pupils this year. This stems from Welsh Government decisions regarding the role and funding of ‘Careers Wales’, the body that used to vet work experience locations. Teaching representatives warned at the time that work experience would be put at risk, disadvantaging our young people.

I’ve written to Welsh Government to ask them to do all they can to ensure work experience placements can take place. With schools saying they don’t have the capacity to vet locations themselves, we must find a way forward.

Work experience is vital – not only giving students a taste of the workplace and of the opportunities that are available to them locally, but also helping to build their self-confidence and skills. I’ve seen that in the students that come for work experience in my office. I’ll keep on pressing so that Anglesey students don’t lose out.

Finally, I often like to sing the praises of Anglesey’s food and drink sector here in my column and in the Assembly chamber. I was pleased last week to see it getting even more attention as Marram Grass chef Ellis Barrie excelled on the Great British Menu, using fantastic local produce such as Menai Oysters. I’m sure we all wish him the very best in the finals.