A sixth form student is encouraging more young people to take an interest in politics after spending a week on work experience with Clwyd South Assembly Member Ken Skates.
Seventeen-year-old Bethan Phillips, who is head girl at Ysgol Dinas Bran, earned her stint in the Labour AM’s constituency office in Llangollen after winning the 2014 Euroscola Competition, which asked -16 to 18-year-olds at schools across Flintshire and Denbighshire to write an essay on what the EU should make its priority this year.
As well as a trip to the European Parliament in Strasbourg with fellow Dinas Bran students Alice Gonzales, Joanna Stallard and Samantha Viney, Bethan was offered a placement with Mr Skates, during which her work included research and writing press releases.
She said: “My work experience with Ken allowed me to put myself in the shoes of a politician and enabled me to focus on certain elements of politics in more detail, for example the potential effects of the Scottish independence vote.
“The week has opened my eyes a little wider to the world of politics, particularly in Wales, and has encouraged me to think more about the effect that politics has upon every part of our society. As I will be turning 18 this month, I am now looking forward to being able to vote in the upcoming General Election even more.
“Having had a taste for it, I am now more inclined to combine my love of languages with the exciting political scene. I would also like to see Welsh politics becoming a more prominent topic among young people, and the thought of it being ‘boring’ replaced by an understanding of the importance it has for our community.”
Mr Skates said: “It was great having Bethan in the office helping us out, and I’m pleased she has taken something away with her and become even more interested in politics. I wish her the best of luck for her studies and would be delighted to have her back any time.”
He added: “I always enjoy having enthusiastic young people on work experience, so if there are any other sixth form or college students who are interested then feel free to email me at [email protected] and we’ll do our best to sort something out.”