Joint statement on National Citizen Service - second reading
This briefing explores young people's journeys towards National Citzen Service and possible ways to encourage and support greater participation.
We welcome the work that National Citizen Service (NCS) has done so far, in supporting young people to take action in their communities.
NCS has real potential as part of young people’s journey into further volunteering and social action, particularly as a starting point for participation throughout their lives. For this potential to be realised, the social action element of NCS needs to be high quality and participants should be supported into other volunteering opportunities.
We believe the bill should better reflect the place of NCS in young people’s wider volunteering and social action journey, encouraging NCS graduates to participate in other social action and volunteering opportunities. Volunteering and social action should be promoted as a distinct next step for graduates in the NCS journey and they should be supported to take this next step by NCS providers.
- The primary functions of the NCS Trust, set out in clause 1, should include the promotion of other social action and volunteering opportunities.
- Annual reporting requirements, set out in clause 6, should also include how many young people are involved in volunteering or social action following completion of the NCS programme.
The National Citizen Service bill is intended to secure the future of the NCS and make the NCS Trust more accountable to Parliament and the public.
Since NCS started in 2011, more than 200,000 young people have participated.
According to the most recent evaluation by Ipsos MORI of the 2014 programmes:1
- All programmes had positive impacts on participants’ knowledge and understanding of community involvement, and their perceived ability to make a difference.
- A majority of participants agreed that they were more likely to help out in their local area.
- Only one-in-three participants said that they would like to carry on a project in their local area.2
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2 In autumn & spring programmes only. This was higher than the summer programme participants.