THE Welsh Government has begun the search for the next Children’s Commissioner for Wales, it was announced today.

In 2001, Wales was the first country in the UK to establish a Children’s Commissioner who acts as an independent champion of children’s rights.

Adverts for the role say the successful applicant must be able to work effectively with children and young people, to represent their interests at local, national and international levels with a range of organisations.

The post is for seven years, has a salary of £90,000 to £95,000 a year and is subject to an open competition.

The closing date for applications is May 19.

Minister for communities and tackling poverty, Jeff Cuthbert said: “I would like thank the current commissioner for his excellent work in the role. We are looking for someone who wants to make a real difference to children and young people’s lives in Wales.”

The term of current commissioner Keith Towler comes to an end in early 2015 and, under the legislation, he is unable to apply again.

In February this year the Welsh Government’s announced plans for an independent review into the role and functions of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales.