National Citizen Service Bill - Lords report stage
This briefing covers amendments to the National Citizen Service bill following the Lord's report stage.
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, with the impact on wider provision safeguarded.
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.
As such, we support the following amendments, which we believe would ensure that the welcome commitment shown so far by the NCS Trust to supporting the wider social action journey is enshrined in law.
- Amendment 2 to Clause 1 which inserts a duty for the NCS Trust to consider the impact on existing voluntary youth provision when carrying out their primary functions. This would ensure NCS is placed within the context of broader social action and volunteering provision, and address any concerns of significant funding over time crowding out alternative social action provision.
- Amendment 4 to Clause 1 which would make the provision of a coherent youth social action journey a primary function of the NCS Trust. This would ensure that the welcome commitment we have seen so far by the NCS Trust to supporting the wider social action journey is put at the forefront of their objectives and given statutory weight.
- Amendment 8 to Clause 6 which would require the NCS Trust to report on the extent to which NCS Trust participants have participated in other social action programmes and the impact the programme has on wider provision. This would ensure that the NCS Trust’s progress in contributing to increased social action and volunteering can be quantified, and inform the future work of the NCS Trust.
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:
- 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 in the autumn and spring programmes said that they would like to carry on a project in their local area.
A survey carried out by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the ‘I will Campaign’3 recently found that:
- 42% of 10-20 year olds took part in meaningful social action in 2016 but young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are still taking part less.
- Young people participating in social action have stronger personal networks and higher life satisfaction.
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