East Midlands MEP Emma McClarkin took part in a unique debate on youth employment this week, along with the British winner of the PlasticsEurope Youth Parliament Debate – Ms Lucy McKeone, who Miss McClarkin was mentoring.
In an innovative format, six MEPs – including Miss McClarkin – spent half a day playing the role of coaches to students from their home countries to prepare them for a two hour debate with high-level panelists.
The debate brought together a range of high-level speakers coming at the topic from different angles – from MEPs and senior Commission officials focused on promoting best practices in education policies across Europe, to industry leaders looking to help lift Europe out of the current employment crisis and, last but by no means least, seven young speakers from across Europe facing the challenge of finding a job in a difficult economic climate.
The event was organised by PlasticsEurope, the association of plastics manufacturers in Europe, in close collaboration with EU40 – the network of young MEPs who were 40 or under 40 at the time of their election.
After the debate Miss McClarkin said:
“This was a really interesting debate and a positive dialogue, and it was fascinating to hear what the young speakers had to say. I was particularly proud of Lucy, and we spent some time together in the morning discussing all manner of topics, including what MEPs do here in the European Parliament.”