To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Local Government Association’s conclusion that only a small number of eligible teenagers take part in the National Citizen Service; whether they plan to reallocate their youth service funding in the light of this; and if not, why not.
To date, around 485,000 young people have taken part in NCS, and during the time period in which they were eligible to participate in NCS, 16% of the cohort who enter Year 13 this September will have done NCS, or 1 in 6 of the eligible population.
Consecutive, independent evaluations have demonstrated the positive impacts that NCS delivers both to its participants and their communities. Government money spent on NCS supports not only the programme but also the organisations it partners with which include over 100 local councils, schools and sports clubs, of which 50 are charities and social enterprises primarily from the youth sector.
Local authorities are primarily responsible for allocating public funding to youth services in their area. We believe they are best placed to know what their communities require.
However, Government recognises the transformational impact open access youth work can have especially for young people facing multiple barriers of disadvantage, that is why we have invested £40m in The Youth Investment Fund to boost open access youth services in 6 disadvantaged areas and expect over 300,000 young people to benefit. This is one of a number of Government programmes designed to enable young people to develop skills and participate in their communities.