Ryan McGuigan is standing for election in the constituency of Airdrie and Shotts in North Lanarkshire in the upcoming elections to the Scottish Youth Parliament. I decided to meet with him and ask him 14 questions, focusing on the campaign, his activities throughout the campaign, and what he thinks about some of the biggest issues facing young people in Scotland today.
The format of the interview will be as follows, first will be the question asked by the interviewer, Harry Williamson, and then Ryan’s response.
Blue text is the question asked and the ordinary text is Ryan’s response.
Please note that these are the exact responses from the candidate and have not been altered in any way.
1. In your opinion, what is the biggest issue facing young people in Scotland today and what do you plan to do to tackle this issue?
“The Biggest issue facing young people is not being involved in issues that matter to them, I think this is crucial that young people have a clear voice is issues.”
2. What would be your main priorities as an MSYP and what issues do you hope to tackle?
“My Main Priorities of being an MSYP will be attending my local youth forum and always representing the issues of young people in my constituency.”
3. How do you feel young people treated in Scotland in 2017, and would you change this in any way?
“The biggest thing facing Young People in 2017 is unemployment, although a lot of things are being done there is still a lot of youth unemployment in society.”
4. Since Education is one of the biggest issues for young people, what do you think about the current education system and would you change it in any way?
“The current Education system does work in many cases but the richest are performing better than the poorest in society and that is unfair.”
5. One of the biggest educational issues for the current Scottish Government is to tackle the attainment gap in education, do you have any responses to this issue and how it can be worked on effectively?
“The Scottish Government will only properly tackle the attainment gap when they have a strong plan for schools such as investing in more teachers and more school resources as well as party support in the Scottish Parliament.”
6. What do you think about the current employment/apprenticeship opportunities for young people in Scotland today and would you change any aspect of them?
“There are good apprenticeship and employment opportunities but not enough in in encouraging young people to get involved in Small Businesses.”
7. Are young people treated with a fair amount of respect in Scottish society?
“Young People aren’t given enough respect, of course we should all respect our elders, but respect our youngers must be a slogan and a commitment of respect going forward.”
8. Do young people in Scotland have access to good quality public services?
“Young People in Airdrie and Shotts as well as the rest of Scotland have good access to public services but Public Transport must be affordable for young people.”
9. Do young people in Scotland have enough opportunities available to them?
“Young People have great opportunities but are often left behind, SYP is a perfect example of this as well as Youth representation at Forums but encouraging young people who aren’t confident is a what our society must do.”
10. Do you have any other concerns regarding issues that impact the young people of Scotland?
“My main concern in Young People’s Involvement in Today’s Society is that they are still not heard enough, this is something that all of us must tackle and make sure that young people have a fair say, also youth poverty is a huge issue.”
11. Should more be done to engage young people in Scotland in Politics?
“More should be done to get young people engaged in the Political Process such as allowing 16-17 year olds to be part of government committees and legislation in Scotland and having more young people in the Government Generally also local councils, particularly Airdrie and Shotts Community.”
12. Do you have a message for the young people in the Airdrie and Shotts area?
“My main message is that we can deliver change to young people if we work well to do so, I think young people in Airdrie and Shotts need a strong voice and that is what I hope to deliver.”
13. What are you doing on the campaign to engage with the young people in your area?
“I have been using Social Media such as Twitter and Facebook to communicate with potential voters in Airdrie and Shotts, I’ve also been appearing at debates and forums.”
14. What makes you the best candidate to be the MSYP for Airdrie and Shotts?
“People should vote for me because I will always raise their issues as I have the confidence to speak in public places and I can debate issues that I think are important.”
Thank you to Ryan for accepting my offer to do this interview, you can follow Ryan’s campaign through his election twitter page. It can be found here by clicking on the twitter handle in brackets. (@RSyp2017)
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