November 22, 2023

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During the recruitment process for the CEO and Assistant Director appointments of the new Somerset Council, young people were asked to form a complimentary panel to assist in the interview process.

The Somerset Council HR department contacted the Engagement and Participation team to ask about the availability of young people to form a panel for the interviews.

Although timescales were short, a panel was selected, trained, prepared questions and were able to practice ahead of the interviews.

One interview took place over Zoom and one face to face. There were complications when one worker contracted COVID, but the young people rose to the occasion.

The panel consisted of two elected Members of Youth Parliament Jasmine and Joel Fowler, one Youth Parliament Advisory Group member Jessica Bullen, Unstoppables and Youth Parliament member Josh Lancaster.

The young people interviewed a total of seven people for both positions and had complete ownership over their questions

Their feedback and reflection on the answers to their questions, scrutiny and preferred choices revealed a high level of integrity and rationalism

Two people were successfully appointed, with the adult panellists both surprised and impressed by how capable the young people were, how they owned their space and voice

They built stronger relationships between adult decision makers and the young people, establishing more potential to work collaboratively

Links to supporting document

The questions asked by the young people

A thank you letter that the young people received

Feedback from adult panellists

“I learned things from the work that you and the panel did. There was a lot of positive feedback about this part of the process, so a real impact.”

HR Director

“And finally on the Monday, a completely utterly fantastic Young People’s Panel; honestly, the preparation they put into their questions and understanding of the role would put most of us to shame!”

HR Director

“The panel were fantastic and showed real interest and commitment to the task which was great to see and hear during the feedback.  Thanks Kate for all the organising and support.”

HR Strategic Manager