Youth Combined Authority
About Greater Manchester’s equality panels
The Greater Manchester Equality Panels have been established to advise, support and challenge Greater Manchester’s political leaders and policy-makers to tackle the discrimination and disadvantage that cause injustice and inequality in society, and champion Greater Manchester as an inclusive city-region. They do this by working together with the GMCA and partners to:
- Provide insight into Greater Manchester’s diverse communities, enabling political leaders and public bodies to listen and engage in a more targeted and effective way
- Communicate key messages to our communities as trusted sources
- Codesign policies, programmes and strategies to ensure they work effectively for communities
- Support an asset-based approach, highlighting new opportunities (and challenges) for positive collaboration that build on the resources and strengths within our communities
The Youth Combined Authority is one of seven equality panels established and funded by the GMCA. Other equality panels include:
Aims of the Youth Combined Authority
The YCA was created in February 2018. It was the first of its kind in the country.
The YCA gives young people in Greater Manchester the opportunity to have their voices heard and influence GMCA policy and decision making.
Its work comprises of:
- Advising the Mayor and GMCA on key issues and concerns of young people, and provide solutions
- Providing a critical voice and scrutinise the work of the Mayor and GMCA
- Undertaking specific pieces of work (for example, developing ‘Our Pass’ the free bus travel card for young people, and contributing to Greater Manchester’s annual Green Summits)
Over its first three years, the YCA has been influencing policies, strategies and decisions on a number of different issues, and have championed the voice of young people across Greater Manchester. Its key achievements include:
- Helping to create Our Pass, providing free bus travel across Greater Manchester for 16-18 year olds, supporting school leavers and care leavers
- Presenting at Youth Select Committees on Curriculum for Life and Knife Crime
- Speaking at the Northern Power Futures Conference and two Conferences of the North
- Contributing to Greater Manchester’s annual Green Summit conferences, including taking part in a question-and-answer sessions with the Mayors of Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region
- Co-hosting the Meet Your Future launch event in April 2019
- Featuring on BBC North West’s Sunday Politics programme
The YCA has also established a number of working groups to focus on particular projects and issues. Whilst there are not any current working groups, previous groups have included:
- Curriculum for Life Working Group: formed to contribute towards the formation of Greater Manchester’s Curriculum for Life, a plan to address gaps in skills and learning and equip young people for life by working with schools, colleges, youth clubs, as well as employers across the city-region
- Health Working Group: with a particular focus on mental health and the environment, the group informed the priorities of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Board and planned a Health Conference for 137 young people
- Environment Working Group: have helped contribute young people’s voices to Greater Manchester’s annual Green Summit events.
We are always looking for interested young people to join the working groups. If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The YCA is made up of 21 youth groups; 10 are the Greater Manchester Youth Councils and the other 11 are organisations who represent young people from a diverse range of identities and backgrounds.
Each organisation nominates two young people to represent it – therefore making 42 members. Each member is aged between 11 and 18 (or up to 25 for those with additional needs) and serves for up to two years.
Current members were chosen in December 2019 by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and the portfolio lead for Young People and Social Cohesion (at the time), Cllr David Jones, Bury Council.
Organisation name and website
The YCA launched a refresh of its membership on 15 December 2021. Youth organisations with young people that are interested in joining have been asked to apply and join ready for Spring 2022. This is an important opportunity for young people to get involved with influencing the decision-making of The Mayor and the GMCA at the highest levels. The deadline for applications is Friday 21 January 2022.
The application pack, with information on who and how to apply, is linked to YCA Membership Application Pack - 2022 (PDF link, opens in a new window)
Full information and a link to the application form can also be found on Youth Focus North West’s website