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EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

5.5 National strategy to increase youth participation

Last update: 25 January 2021

LAST MODIFIED ON: 08/10/2020 - 10:45

On this page
  1. Existence of a national strategy to increase young people's political and civil society participation
  2. Scope and contents
  3. Responsible authority for the implementation of the strategy
  4. Revisions/Updates


Existence of a national strategy to increase young people's political and civil society participation

There is no national strategy which solely and specifically focuses on increasing young people’s political and civil society participation. However, the topic of increasing young people’s participation is outlined in the work done so far on the National Youth Work Strategy 2020-2025, being led by Youthlink Scotland. The updating document for this strategy highlights removing barriers to participation as one of the main priorities for youth work in the next five years, and youth participation and youth voice in decision-making is a key theme.

The National Youth Work Strategy 2014-2019 continues to inform policy-making in Scotland furthermore.



Scope and contents

National Youth Work Strategy 2020-2025

Following the Scottish government’s commitment to a refreshed national youth work strategy, Youthlink Scotland and various other youth work stakeholders including young people, are in the process of co-producing the National Youth Work Strategy 2020-2025. Youthlink Scotland states

The aim of the co-production process is to ensure that the priorities and commitments of the new youth work strategy reflect the interests, knowledge, experiences, expertise and skills of all youth work stakeholders and contributes to a meaningful legacy of the Year of Young People 2018 by continuing the commitment to young people’s empowerment and leadership opportunities.

A January 2020 progress report made on the actions agreed at the third annual meeting of Cabinet members and children and young people on 5 March 2019, prioritises “listening to children and young people’s views and taking account of their views, as part of the Year of Young People 2018 legacy. This will include co-producing a youth work strategy that puts children and young people at its core” as well as outlining several actions to increase children and young people’s participation in national decision-making.

National Youth Work Strategy 2014-2019

One of the five ambitions of the Scottish Government, Education Scotland and YouthLink Scotland, as outlined in the National Youth Work Strategy 2014-2019, is to put young people at the heart of policy.

The strategy highlights a number of associated actions that the three aforementioned organisations will take in order to ensure that, through the harnessing of youth work: 

  • young people and their contributions are respected and valued; 
  • young people have more effective participation and influence in decision making and in changing policies which affect them; and
  • young people are directly involved in local and national decision making. 

An interim report on the progress made against the strategy aims, published in 2017, can be found on the Education Scotland website.

Year of Young People 2018

One of the Year of Young People 2018 objectives (see above for further information) included, increasing participation of young people: giving young people the opportunity to influence decisions that affect their lives. The platform developed opportunities for children and young people to participate in politics throughout 2018, any updates can be found on their website. 

YoYP have facilitated youth political participation in 2018. It provides a platform for communication between the Scottish Government and young people. As part of YoYP, in March 2018, the First Minister, held the second annual Youth Cabinet meeting with the representatives of young people. They discussed issues impacting their lives, hoping to inform the government’s agenda and policies regarding young people. Additionally, in September 2018, a special Question Time with the First Minister was launched, run by Children in Scotland and YouthLink Scotland. It gives 8 to 26 year olds the opportunity to engage and question the First Minister about issues affecting them. These topics include: young people’s access to mental health services, a second Brexit referendum and improving support for care-experienced young people.


Responsible authority for the implementation of the strategy

The responsible authority for implementation is described where the programme / strategy is mentioned above, if applicable. 


Not applicable.