What is the National Citizen Service?

National Citizen Service (NCS) is a government backed youth citizenship programme that builds the skills and confidence of 15-17 year olds to help them get ahead in work and life.

NCS believes that given the respect, tools and opportunity, young people can change the world around them

  • NCS is a once-in-a-lifetime experience open to all 15 - 17 year olds across England
  • NCS is for everyone. To date over 70,000 young people have taken part in NCS and it’s still growing
  • Participants experience new challenges and learn new skills through team building exercises and outdoor activities, while making new friends and contributing to their community
  • 9 out of 10 would recommend NCS to a friend
  • The programme is backed by government so participants pay no more than £50 with bursaries available on a case by case basis
  • Every young person can participate, whether they are academic, sporty or creative and regardless of income, background or ambitions
  • NCS takes place out of college time during the autumn, spring and summer terms
  • NCS summer programme is a unique three-week full-time programme with two weeks spent away from home focused around fun and discovery plus 30 hours committed to a social action project that benefits you and your community.

NCS helps 15 - 17 year olds develop confidence and skills and grow their CVs

Independent evaluation from NatCen* shows:

  • 92% think NCS gives them a chance to develop skills that would be useful in future
  • 73% feel more confident about getting a job as a result of NCS
  • The programme delivers a 17 percentage point increase in confidence at leading a team
  • One year on, 89% agree that NCS has enabled them to develop skills that have been useful for study, work or training
  • One year on, a 12 percentage point decrease in anxiety levels in NCS participants compared to control group
  • NCS is recognised by UCAS and helps young people frame their skills and experiences for interviews and university applications
  • NCS helps teach the skills that employers say they are increasingly looking for in candidates: Confidence, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership skills
  • Employers, in a 2012 survey*, agreed that initiative, problem-solving and communication skills are those most needed by job candidates to succeed at work (*CBI)
  • NCS boosted leadership skills by 18 percentage points and in terms of teamwork, 95% of NCS participants felt they had a chance to know people they wouldn’t normally mix with
  • Participants graduate with a certificate signed by the Prime Minister.
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