Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, recently met with Members of Future Leaders Connect in Parliament.

The British Council is seeking exceptional young people aged 18-35 to join a long-term global network of emerging policy leaders for an intensive policy and leadership development programme, including a conference in the UK Houses of Parliament debating some of the world's biggest challenges.

Future Leaders Connect, launched this year by the British Council, will offer nine days of leadership learning and development for young people, to provide them with the skills they need to turn innovative ideas into tangible policy recommendations.

Those taking part will meet some of today's leading thinkers from public, private, third sector and political worlds.

Caroline said:

'We have a long, proud tradition of democratic policy-making in this country and this is a great opportunity for the next generation of leaders to take it forward. The connections these young people will make not only with UK decision makers but also with their counterparts from across the world, will be invaluable to them in their careers.

'I would urge anybody from Gosport who wants to make a difference, have their voice heard and become a great leader, to apply to Future Leaders Connect.'

Ten finalists from across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be awarded a fully funded place as part of Future Leaders Connect. They will join finalists from Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tunisia and the USA to form a powerful network of emerging leaders. The programme of delivery in the UK will include training in public speaking, policy development expertise and leadership skills. This culminates with a one day conference in the Houses of Parliament, meeting MPs and law makers. There have already been 10,000 applications to join Future Leaders Connect from across the world and young people from the UK have just over one month to make their application.

Sir CiarĂ¡n Devane, the Chief Executive of the British Council, said:

'An international outlook is vital for the future leaders of all countries, if they wish to overcome the challenges they will face.

'Through Future Leaders Connect the British Council will help a new generation to understand practical policy development by putting them in contact with the leaders of today. The programme will help them to develop the skills and international contacts they need to make positive change in their countries.

'The British Council's Future Leaders Connect aims to identify exceptional young people in the UK and across the world who have the potential to be future leaders of their countries in the fields of politics and policy, and who will be amongst the shapers of global policy making in the years ahead. We will offer them the opportunities they need to develop their skills in leadership and policy making, while at the same time building a life-long connection to the UK.'

Anyone who would like to take part needs to submit an online application by 23.59 Thursday 20 July 2017 (BST). They will be asked what their unique policy ideas are and about their experience as a leader.

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