Chair’s first visit in Committee's pilot youth engagement program
20 May 2022
The Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee, Baroness Parminter, visited Birkenhead Sixth Form College, one of the six schools taking part in the Committee’s Youth Engagement Programme.
- Inquiry: Mobilising action on climate change and environment: behaviour change
- Environment and Climate Change Committee
This trip followed a meeting the day before which involved a focused discussion of issues related to the Committee’s inquiry looking into mobilising behaviour change and will inform the next stage of our inquiry.
The Committee were really impressed and grateful for the students’ engagement with the issues and their ability to articulate their responses to the questions posed by the members.
On the visit to Birkenhead Sixth Form College, Baroness Parminter shared an description of the work of the Committee and how this fits into the work of Parliament and the Government more broadly and decisions affecting students’ lives. The Chair wanted to help foster an understanding of the democratic process and particularly focussed on how the students’ engagement matters, now and in the future.
The students were enthusiastic and educated on the various topics discussed and the Committee and the Chair continue to be impressed by their engagement with the issues.
Baroness Parminter, Chair of the House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee said:
It was great to go up to Liverpool and discuss with students their views on responding to the climate and nature crises we face. The meeting in Birkenhead Sixth Form College allowed a wider number of students to put some very challenging questions to me and by me going up to visit them I hope it demonstrated our genuine respect for their views. We really want to listen.
Mike Kilbride, Principal of Birkenhead Sixth Form College:
It is very refreshing to see the select committee go to such lengths to hear the views of our young students, they very much appreciated the opportunity and enjoyed meeting Baroness Parminter in person. It was such a positive experience all round and I do hope that this is a process that can be built on in the future.
Jane Cavanagh, Teacher of Politics at Birkenhead Sixth Form College:
It has been an honour to have been selected to take part in the project with the House of Lords Select Committee on the Environment and Climate Change, especially as place for it were highly competitive. The 4 students who were involved in the Teams meeting with members of the Committee, and specifically the breakout room with Baroness Parminter found the experience exciting and engaging. One of the students, Matthew Hood, described the experience as ‘empowering’. Young people are seldom given the opportunity to express their views and have any input into decision-making so it is an absolute honour to have the opportunity to do so, especially on the issue of climate change which is of the utmost importance to the future of our young people. All of the students felt that Baroness Parminter was genuinely interested in what they had to say.
The students were given a real insight into the work of the Lords and how the committee system works. One student said that she found it fascinating and didn’t want the talk to end.