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About The Youth Assembly

What is the Youth Assembly?


The Youth Assembly was established in June 2021 with 90 members who were appointed for a two-year period which ended in June 2023. The legacy report is a record of the achievements of the Youth Assembly in its ‘pioneer phase’.

The Youth Assembly’s primary function is to give young people a voice and allow and encourage them to participate directly in the work of the Northern Ireland Assembly and its Committees.

Three members of teh Youth Assembly standing in the Assembly Chamber holding the boxes representing the topics taht will form the basis of Youth Assembly Committees - Health, Education and Rights and Equality.
Youth Assembly Members voted to select Health, Education and Rights and Equality as the three issues that will form the basis for the establishment of the Youth Assembly Committees.

How are Youth Assembly Members selected?

The recruitment methodology was co-designed with young people. Recruitment is carried out using an enhanced random selection process. Applications are anonymised, then 54 members are selected on a constituency basis to ensure geographic spread. The final 36 young people are selected anonymously to ensure representation of section 75 categories such as gender, religious background, race, care experience, disability and so on.

Unsuccessful applicants have the option of remaining on a Youth Assembly consultation forum list which provides a consultation base of engaged young people from whom the Youth Assembly can seek views and acts as a pool from which vacancies can be filled should they occur.

The current 90 Youth Assembly Members took their seats in October 2023. At the time of recruitment, they were in school years 9-12 which is approximately age 12-16.

Role of the Youth Assembly

The Youth Assembly was established to perform three functions:

  • to engage with the work of the Northern Ireland Assembly, specifically with Assembly Committees on legislation and inquiries relevant to young people;
  • to undertake project work generated by the three Youth Assembly committees; and
  • to enable consultation with government Departments and to participate in youth voice projects.
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Youth Assembly Members participating in a public speaking workshop delivered by Sarah Travers and Catriona Walsh.


Plenary sittings are held twice a year. They are usually held in the Assembly Chamber and are chaired by the Speaker.

The Youth Assembly committees meet monthly online. There are three Youth Assembly committees which have been chosen by Members. They are: Education, Health, and Rights and Equality. Members in each committee research an issue and present their recommendations to Ministers.

In addition, Youth Assembly Members attend a wide variety of online and face-to-face training and team building sessions.

If you have any questions about the Youth Assembly, please contact us via email youthassembly@niassembly.gov.uk.

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The second meeting of the Youth Assembly’s second mandate takes place in the Assembly Chamber, presided by Assembly Speaker, Edwin Poots.
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