National Citizen Service provides opportunities for young people in our town and is organised locally by the Crawley Town Community Foundation.
NCS is a programme open to 15 to 17-year-olds. It’s designed to encourage personal and social development through a range of activities and projects requiring leadership, teamwork and communication.
The initiative brings different communities together and gives young people the chance to take part in new experiences, develop skills and give back to our community.
As well as providing experience of working alone and as part of a team, which will undoubtedly provide a boost when seeking employment or apprenticeship opportunities in the future, the initiative also sees participants undertake social action projects to benefit the local community.
In 2016 the Government announced the expansion of NCS, ensuring more than £1 billion goes to the scheme over the next four years; meaning that by 2021, it’ll cover 60 per cent of all 16 year olds. It will be the largest programme of its kind in Europe, and schools will be expected to provide every student with the opportunity to take part.
The Government has committed to offering an NCS place to everyone that wants one through the National Citizen Service Act which completed its passage through Parliament in April 2017, indeed I was pleased to speak in the House of Commons in support of this legislation earlier in the year. The Act will also enable more young people, and their parents or carers, to hear about NCS and how it can benefit them.
It’s always my pleasure to present certificates to graduates in Crawley when they complete the programme and I’ll continue to stand up for opportunities for young people locally.