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National Citizen Service

Volume 558: debated on Wednesday 6 February 2013

I am delighted to say that we think that almost three times more young people took part in NCS this year and I hope that the whole House will join me in congratulating those young people, who between them contributed some 750,000 hours of community service in their local areas. The number will grow again this year and teenagers can sign up at

In an era when young people must take every advantage to give themselves a competitive edge, does my hon. Friend agree that the NCS furnishes graduates with the skills that will attract future employers?

Yes, I do. Young people and employers are telling us that. They recognise that the NCS helps young people develop the character skills, leadership, communication, teamwork and self-confidence that will help them succeed in the workplace. That is why we are so proud to support it.

Does the Minister agree that the NCS ought to go hand in hand with paying attention to first-class citizenship in our schools? Is he aware that citizenship in schools has been run down to almost nothing?

That is under review by the Department for Education, but I stress that NCS and programmes like it complement what is going on in schools to build the confidence of young people and change how they feel about what they achieve. They are enormously valuable.

10. I was delighted to attend Royds Hall school last year to see dozens of youngsters who had been inspired to sign up for the National Citizen Service. Can the Minister assure me that this fantastic scheme will be rolled out not only across my constituency, but across the rest of the country this year? (141662)

My hon. Friend is a tireless champion of NCS in his area, and I am delighted that we will shortly announce plans to expand the service this year. It will expand considerably in his constituency and other areas, and I encourage colleagues to tell parents and young people about it, and to direct young people to the website,