As the General Election looms on Thursday 4 July, students at Kirklees College have been organising events to help promote democracy and the importance of voting amongst young people in Kirklees. On Wednesday 12 June, they hosted their most important event to date, a hustings with local candidates standing in the upcoming election at Cathedral House in Huddersfield.

Hundreds of young people from Kirklees College, Greenhead College, and Huddersfield New College attended the event. Candidates from Labour, the Green Party, Reform UK and Liberal Democrats attended, answering questions from the student community that covered a range of topics, including the NHS, immigration, global conflicts and more.

The college’s Students’ Union hosted the event and Serena Johnson, Director of Programmes at Conscious Youth made an opening speech via video link, emphasising the importance of the youth vote. The college has been working throughout the year with Conscious Youth and the collaboration has resulted in a number of activities to help students at the college engage with politics, many of whom will be voting for the first time in this General Election.

Before the local elections in May, Serena from Conscious Youth co-hosted a hustings event with local councillors and candidates at the college’s Huddersfield Centre. The college’s Students’ Union President, Courtney Lister, put forward a range of student questions to candidates, covering a wide range of topics from education to the cost of living crisis.

At the start of the hustings, Kirklees College’s Principal Palvinder Singh addressed the crowd, speaking about the importance of this General Election and expressing his pride in the students who had organised and attended the event. Palvinder said:

“Today I want to remind you all of the importance of balance and tolerance at a time when we need to be more conscious of divisive messages and go beyond these. Thank you to the candidates for coming to speak to us today and for working together with us on this event.”

Rebecca Swallow, Head of Student Experience at Kirklees College commented:
“Our students have done a tremendous job of working alongside Conscious Youth and our Enrichment team to organise this event, especially at such short notice. The youth vote and student voice are absolutely vital in politics to ensure the next government are including policies and plans that meet their needs, and those of their communities. It is great to see our students engage with such maturity and passion. They did not shy away from asking the tough questions, challenging candidates on their plans, strategies for the future and going as far as asking candidates to verify their sources.”

To find out more about Kirklees College’s Students’ Union and Student Voice initiative, visit