As anticipation mounts ahead of the General Election this Thursday, one Birmingham College is voting to educate its students on the workings of the political system. Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College will be heading for the Council House today, on the eve of the election, to meet with Councillor Waseem Zaffar and discuss why its students’ opinions are so important.
With statistics showing two separate surges of young people registering to vote as the date to do so drew near, forecasts are predicting that first-time voters may be able to swing the results. Determined to demonstrate the importance of their voices, JCC is taking to the Council House to spend the morning talking to those in the know.
Councillor Zaffar will be guiding JCC’s pupils around the building, giving them a tour behind-the-scenes, before hosting a Q&A in the Council Chambers, where they will be invited to ask him anything.
An alumnus of JCC himself, Councillor Zaffar is looking forward to hosting the students. Speaking about the event, he commented: “It is great to be working with my former college to bring to light the role young people can – and should – play in politics. My time at Joseph Chamberlain College was when I first realised that I wanted to be part of a movement for change, which eventually led to me working in politics. With the election imminent, there is no better time for us to be empowering our young people to recognise their place in the political landscape.”
Joseph Chamberlain College’s pupils will be able to speak to Councillor Zaffar about his own time at their sixth form, as well as his experience growing up in Birmingham and how he became the leader he is today. Discussing everything from employment skills to the future face of Birmingham, the students will be able to find out directly from the leader about what is in store for their city.
“The General Election results will hinge on the voices of those who use their vote and it is vital that they understand that this is their opportunity to make a change for their future. For too long, politics has been disengaging, disenfranchising, and disillusioned when it comes to looking at what young people want from their leaders; now is our chance to set this right and lead by example,” added Councillor Zaffar.
Commenting on the opportunity, Jo Lawrence, Vice Principal Welfare & Progression at Joseph Chamberlain College, concluded: “This is an opportunity for our students to gain a valuable insight into how Birmingham is run and the ways in which they can make a difference to our city and the West Midlands. Many of our students have registered and will be voting for the first time in this election; therefore it is crucial that they understand the process and the potential impact their vote will have.”
For more information about Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College and what it offers, please visit www.jcc.ac.uk.