The government is today calling on voluntary, business and public sector organisations to play their part in running National Citizen Service (NCS) schemes in a market that could be worth up to £110 million by 2014.
Under the programme, young people from very different backgrounds are brought together into a team for three weeks, with a common objective, to give something back to their local community and achieve something of which they can be proud.
The government’s ambition is to make NCS available to all 16-year-olds so that it becomes a rite of passage and is committed to providing 90,000 places by 2014. In order to do this it needs organisations, from big business to voluntary organisations, to run the schemes around the country.
Expanding NCS will mean that the government will deliver a key part of its Big Society agenda that will help transform the lives of young people all over the country and build a more cohesive, responsible and engaged society.
Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said:
Young people are our future, and we need to harness their energy, enthusiasm and motivation at an early age so that we can motivate them to make a difference for themselves and to the lives of those around them in their communities.
This is the chance for big businesses and small voluntary organisations across the country to shape and be part of a unique flagship government programme at its early stage of development. It’s also a chance to give young people opportunities, transform communities and participate in the creation of a more cohesive, responsible and engaged society.
So that it can find out how to make it easier for organisations to get involved, the government is today launching a period of market consultation to help inform how it will realise its ambitions to scale NCS.
In 2011 over 8,000 young people participated in NCS. Many had life-changing experiences. This year 30,000 young people around the country will be given the opportunity to get involved. By 2014 the government is committed to making 90,000 places available and over time all 16-year-olds will have the opportunity to take part. This ramping up will make NCS one of the largest youth programmes in the world.
Notes to editors
The consultation questionnaire is available here.