Holyrood’s Presiding Officer has pledged that young people will continue to have a “strong voice” in the Scottish Parliament.
Ken Macintosh spoke out as he signed a partnership document pledging closer links between Holyrood and the Scottish Youth Parliament.
Staff from both parliaments will work together to ensure that Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) can hold a special sitting at Holyrood every two years.
MSYPs will also benefit from improved training and support from Parliament staff while closer links will be developed between committees at the two institutions.
Mr Macintosh and Suki Wan, chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, both pledged their support for this.
Ms Wan said: “The Scottish Youth Parliament has a unique democratic mandate to represent the views of young people.
“This mandate sets us apart from all other organisations, as evidenced by the fact that 80,000 young people voted for their MSYP in our last elections.
“We are very proud that the Scottish Parliament has recognised that mandate and have every confidence that we will be able to support the Parliament in ensuring its work strongly reflects the views of young people.
“This closer working relationship is an amazing achievement for SYP and for all of Scotland’s young people, and we are all looking forward to seeing what more we can achieve in collaboration with the Scottish Parliament.”
Mr Macintosh stated: “For Scotland’s Parliament to be truly representative, having young people involved at the heart of politics is vital.
“Throughout our Parliament’s history, the Scottish Youth Parliament has influenced the work we do. From submitting petitions to giving evidence to committees, the Scottish Youth Parliament has helped to shape modern Scotland.
“As the Parliament approaches its 20th anniversary, and in the Year of Young People, it is right that we revisit this relationship to ensure that young people continue to have a strong voice at Scotland’s Parliament.
“By working in partnership we’ll ensure that the Parliament continues to hear that voice and help us face the challenges of the next 20 years.”