Youth voice is at the heart of everything we do at NCS. Read our insights to learn more about what we have found through delivering our programmes today.
New academic research shows how NCS is having a substantial positive effect on young people’s political participation. Specifically, it shows how taking part in an NCS experience increases young people’s participation in politics by up to 12%. Findings are taken from a four year research project with UCL’s School of Public Policy and the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), and make an important contribution to our wider understanding of the impact of service learning programmes, like NCS, on democratic engagement among young audiences.
We're delighted to launch a discussion paper, in partnership with the Centre for Education and Youth, that explores the role of non-formal learning, extracurricular and enrichment activities in delivering a transformational education recovery experience for young people.
Drawing on key evidence, together with views garnered from a range of experts, the paper identifies a number of opportunities for expanding access to enrichment activities for children and young people.
We’ve also collaborated with the Scouts Association, and pollsters YouGov, to conduct new research into the views of children and young people, parents and teachers to inform our thinking and discussions.
Both the discussion paper and polling were launched at an event on 15th October, a recording of which will be made available here soon.
Our latest survey, conducted in February 2021 with over 1,000 16 to 19 year olds, reflects our commitment to having youth voice at the heart of all we do.
We know the pandemic has been particularly tough on young people. But, we felt it timely - as we reach the one-year anniversary of COVID - to look forward. We wanted to hear from young people about their priorities as we come out of lockdown, and understand what they see as their role in rebuilding our nation to become the next greatest generation.
Our CEO, Mark Gifford, shares his thoughts on the findings from our exclusive survey of 16-19 year olds. It’s clear young people see themselves playing a key role in supporting the nation’s recovery. Mark explains how NCS is helping them to do this.
Research shows that 74% of 16-25 year olds believe their generation can change their future for the better. 88% of young people care about making the world a better place. In the first of a series of new short reports, we set out how NCS is empowering young people to help the nation ‘build back better’ during the pandemic. Throughout 2020, NCS supported young people to deliver over 500,000 hours of social action and volunteering. We discuss how important this has been not only to supporting communities, but to improving young people’s own key skills, confidence and wellbeing.
Poor mental health among young people is a growing issue. Sixty percent of teens tell us they have been feeling more isolated and lonely than normal due to COVID-19, and almost two in five have been struggling to cope with everyday things. As we seek to help the nation build back better from the pandemic, young people’s mental health and wellbeing must be placed front and centre. In our latest report, we discuss how NCS has been supporting young people’s mental health over the past year, and our plans for the future as we start to emerge from lockdown.
Our country continues to face significant youth employment challenges, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19. Huge skills shortages and a lack of a young talent pipeline remain in many sectors of strategic significance for our society and economy. However, too often young people are not being engaged in a way that encourages and supports them to take part in, and stick with, existing initiatives such as apprenticeships. UK Year of Service, an NCS initiative, is a new approach that can help to address this challenge.
On Wednesday 21 September 2022, NCS Trust responded to the Department of Education-led consultation, Skills for jobs: implementing a new further education funding and accountability system. Our response focused on the Skills Fund allocation proposal on innovative provision, and highlighted UK Year of Service as a positive example of new, tangible, employer or employability-focused non-qualification provision.
In December 2022, NCS Trust submitted a response to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Employment’s inquiry on mental health. More than 700,000 young people have taken part in NCS over the last decade, and NCS programmes have been demonstrated to have a positive impact on young people’s wellbeing. Our response included an evidence review and insights from NCS experiences on young people’s skills for life and work, young people’s mental health and wellbeing, and enrichment in education.
In February 2023 NCS Trust was asked to submit evidence to the Government's Independent Review on Social Cohesion and Resilience. The review was led by Dame Sara Khan, appointed by the Prime Minister as the Independent Adviser for Social Cohesion and Resilience at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). Our response included an evidence review and insights from NCS experiences on young people’s wellbeing and their perceptions of social cohesion. Our evidence demonstrates that NCS has a strong positive impact on young people’s sense of responsibility towards their local community.
In 2022, NCS Trust submitted a response to the APPG on Youth Affairs' Inquiry on skills and youth employment. The purpose of this inquiry was to explore barriers to youth employment, skills gaps across the country, and solutions that the government and other partners could implement to build the workforce of the future. Our response included an evidence review, insights from NCS experiences, and findings from our thought leadership work on young people's skills for life and work, mental health and wellbeing, enrichment and non-formal learning, and employment outcomes. The submission was incorporated into the final APPG report led by YMCA - Empowering Youth for the Future of Work: Addressing Challenges and Enabling Opportunities - which was published in August 2023.