In the beginning...
The Scottish Youth Parliament is older than the Scottish Parliament (by one day!). Its birthday is the 30th June 1999.
The first ever meeting of the Scottish Youth Parliament was at Murrayfield Stadium.
Who are the MSYPs?
The Scottish Youth Parliament is made up of MSYPs. This is what we call the Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament.
The Scottish Youth Parliament can have a membership as big as 200 young people:
146 constituency MSYPs with space for two MSYPs from each of the 73 Scottish Parliament constituencies.
Constituency MSYPs are elected through elections across Scotland’s 32 local authority areas.
54 voluntary organisation MSYPs with space for two MSYPs from each voluntary organisation that signs up to become a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament.
8 organisations are currently represented by MSYPs: LGBT Youth Scotland; British Deaf Association: Scotland; Girlguiding Scotland; Quarriers; Who Cares? Scotland; YMCA Scotland; Whizz Kids; and the Scottish Epilepsy Initiative.
MSYPs are aged between 14 and 25 years old.
All our MSYPs work for the organisation as volunteers.
Over the years, the Scottish Youth Parliament has had approximately 1,000 MSYPs and has worked directly with even more young people across Scotland, too many to count!
7 MSYPs sit on the Board of Trustees of the Scottish Youth Parliament: the Chair; the Vice Chair; a representative from the Conveners Group; and 4 further elected MSYPs. All members of the Board are aged between and including 16 and 25 years of age.
In the Scottish Youth Parliament’s history there have been 10 Chairs.
There are 10 Subject Committees: Culture and Media; Education and Lifelong Learning; Jobs and Economy; Equalities; External Affairs; Health and Wellbeing; Justice; Social Justice; Sport and Leisure; and Transport, Environment and Rural Affairs.
The Scottish Youth Parliament meets at least 3 times a year, at national sittings. Additional events, activities and meetings run throughout the year giving MSYPs even more opportunities to come together.
90% of former MSYPs state that the impact of the Scottish Youth Parliament on them has been either “Very positive” or “Positive”.
89% of former MSYPs would recommend joining the Scottish Youth Parliament to young people in Scotland today.
The 2011 MSYPs
There are currently, exactly, 150 MSYPs.
79% of are current MSYPs are new MSYPs, elected for the first time in March 2011.
59% of MSYPs are male, 41% female.
Almost two-thirds of the current membership is aged between 15 and 17 years old.
13% of MSYPs have a disability.
12% of MSYPs are young carers.
13% of MSYPs state that they are LGBT.
35% of MSYPs are members of a political party.
88% of MSYPs are engaged in voluntary activity (additional to their MSYP duties).
(More information on our current membership can be found in our 2011 Member Census http://www.syp.org.uk/msyps-W21page-89-)
The work and activities of the Scottish Youth Parliament
The Scottish Youth Parliament has represented the view of young people in Scotland through 3 manifestos launched to coincide with Scottish Parliamentary elections in 2003, 2007 and 2011.
The Scottish Youth Parliament’s 2011 “Change the Picture” manifesto was published following a nationwide consultation that received 42,804 responses from young people.
MSYPs have presented to the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee on 2 occasions, to call for a ban on the mosquito device and political education for all.