Alliance Youth Chair Stephen Martin and International Officer Chris Andrews have joined 170 other young leaders at a European Liberal Youth (LYMEC) Congress in Barcelona in demanding action on youth employment, suicide prevention and climate change amongst others.
Alliance Youth Chair Stephen Martin commented: “Joining other young political leaders from across Europe in demanding joined up thinking on issues that directly affect the future prospects of our young people, Alliance Youth played a role in shaping a common platform for a pan-European agenda to tackle real everyday problems.
“Calls were made for EU coordination on innovation in the market-place with special attention being made to young people’s participation in the labour market. As the economy slows, we can not allow those coming into the employment market to be side-lined. Young people are vital to the future dynamism of the Northern Irish economy. In the light of the upcoming American investment conference in Belfast, it is imperative that the Executive prioritises young people and what they can offer to international business.”
Stephen added: “On suicide prevention, delegates heard of recent research that showed suicide was the third highest case of death amongst teenagers and young adults in the European Union with 2 million young people across the EU suffering from mental health issues. In Northern Ireland, we know all to well of the impact of such issues in our society and Alliance Youth stands follow behind LYMEC’s call for increased funding ear-marked for mental health provision with support and training given to over-stretched professionals in the field.
“In all, Alliance Youth continues to work to advance a progressive pro-active political agenda here in Northern Ireland.”