Belfast's Danielle Addresses UK Cabinet

A young woman from Northern Ireland had the unique opportunity to address the UK Cabinet - including the Prime Minister - this morning.

Danielle Burns, 24, from Belfast, was allowed to pitch her employment ideas to ministers after winning a competition via social networking website Bebo.

She was joined by two other finalists Pearl Amoateng, 21, from Tottenham and David Berrill, 17, from Godalming in Surrey.

The 'Take Your Ideas To The Top' competition was backed by the Cabinet Office, and provided a platform for young people to submit ideas on how to tackle crime, deal with climate change and help with careers.

Pearl's idea was for centres to help inspire young people who may otherwise turn to crime.

Danielle suggested 'employment evenings' to make it easier for young people to find work, and David put forward his vision for a website that joins up jobseekers aged 16 to 24 with opportunities for part-time, temporary and weekend work.
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Thousands of people visited the Big Think page on Bebo last month.

The best six were invited to Westminster to pitch their ideas to a panel comprising Cabinet Office Minister Tessa Jowell, musician Goldie, record-breaking young mountaineer Jake Meyer, Apprentice winner Michelle Dewberry and Prince’s Trust head of policy and development Ginny Lunn.

The panel picked the three winners who presented their ideas at the end of today’s Cabinet meeting.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "It was fascinating to hear the ideas from David, Pearl and Danielle today and hear how young people feel we should deal with these challenges facing their generation."

Cabinet Office Minister Tessa Jowell added: "It's really important that young people feel engaged with politics, and I was very impressed with the ideas that were presented to the Prime Minister today.

"The three winners and the other finalists should all be very proud of what they've achieved."


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