NCS Trust and the Department for Culture, Media & Sport provide £1m for UK Year of Service programme to support 18-24 year olds into education and employment
NCS Trust (National Citizen Service) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) will jointly fund this year’s UK Year of Service programme. UK Year of Service is a truly unique national employability programme for 18-24 year olds which is designed to tackle youth employability challenges by placing young people in socially-beneficial roles. The funding will enable UK Year of Service to build on the success of a three year pilot, which supported 336 young people in paid work placements lasting 9-12 months and engaged 82 employers.
NCS will use around £250k to fund the programme until the end of March 2024 while DCMS have awarded around £750k from April 2024, giving a total of £1m to cover placements for a further 100 young people. The funding also includes skills training, wrap-around support within and beyond placement and support for exit routes into further education and employment.
Founded by Lord Blunkett and Stephen Greene CBE, the Founding Chair of NCS, UK Year of Service aims to address a key issue facing the UK’s employment market, which has over ½ a million under 25-year-olds out of work. The main barrier to young people finding employment is a lack of experience, and almost 50% of young people feel education has not properly equipped them with skills they need to get the job they want. UK Year of Service reconciles these challenges.
Building on the success of public service schemes such as AmeriCorps in the US, Service Civique in France and Freiwilligendienste in Germany, UK Year of Service provides an opportunity for young people to build skills and confidence at the start of their careers. External evaluation has provided evidence of the impact of UK Year of Service and its ability to reach those young people furthest from the labour market. On entry into the programme, 56% of 2021-2022 participants were on Universal Credit; data from partners suggests that over 80% of young people taking part go directly into education, employment or training following their placement.
Mark Gifford, CEO of NCS Trust said, “Through the UK Year of Service Pilot we have supported over 330 young people into the world of work. Through engaging with over 80 employers we have been able to offer socially beneficial roles to young people, giving them paid work that pays back. We are grateful for this support from the government which allows UK Year of Service to move from being a pilot programme, to a fundamental part of the NCS Trust portfolio designed to support young people in becoming world ready & work ready.”
The new funding will enable NCS, in partnership with a network of organisations, to improve the life chances of 100 more young people and ensure they are able to access paid work that pays back. Research in the U.S. shows that every $1 in federal taxes invested in AmeriCorps returns $17.30 to society, programme members, and the federal government.
Looking to the future, the UK Year of Service team has the knowledge, experience, and skills to quickly scale the programme, helping to address the pressing issues of unemployment and productivity. To do this, NCS is looking for more organisations that will sponsor places for young people – perhaps as part of their ESG Policy. Organisations interested in hosting a placement can reach out to the UK Year of Service team at email@example.com. NCS will be posting on social media channels when the application process for placement delivery partners is ready to go live.
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For more information, please contact:
NCS press office – email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3920 8576.
About NCS (National Citizen Service)
NCS offers a range of experiences for young people that support them to become world ready and work ready — through growing their confidence, independence and skills; connecting them with people from all walks of life; and empowering them to make a difference in their communities and wider society.
Over the past decade, more than 800,000 young people have benefitted from an NCS experience, dedicating over 18 million hours to community based social action, while gaining invaluable life experiences.
NCS is managed and supported by NCS Trust, our central team who are constantly working to make sure that NCS delivers impactful experiences to as many young people as possible. NCS is funded by the UK Government through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as a core part of the National Youth Guarantee.
About UK Year of Service
UK Year of Service is a unique employability programme for 18-24 year olds, offering 9-12 months paid work in a socially beneficial role. It includes an embedded skills training programme, wrap-around support within and beyond placement and support for exit routes into further education or employment.
To find out more about UK Year of Service visit ukyear.com