National Citizen Service expects costs to fall by 30% in five years

The volunteering initiative for young people has also announced a number of new partner organisations

National Citizen Service
National Citizen Service

The National Citizen Service expects the costs of the programme to fall by 30 per cent over the next five years as it announces a raft of new partner organisations.

In an announcement today, the NCS Trust, the charity that runs the scheme, said it expected the 30 per cent reduction in real-terms costs to be completed by 2024 when compared with 2016/17.

The NCS Trust’s 2016/17 accounts show that it cost £1,783 for each place on an NCS programme that year.

The programme has faced criticism for failing to hit some of its participation targets and has been accused of being overly expensive and of taking funding from other youth projects.

The government has committed about £1.5bn since 2010 to the NCS, which runs a number of two to four-week programmes for 15 to 17-year-olds during school holidays in the spring, summer and autumn.

The reduction in costs for the NCS programmes would be achieved through economies of scale, removing duplication and reducing overheads, the trust said today.

The NCS has also announced a number of new partners as it shakes up its programme delivery.

In August the NCS Trust announced it was parting company with The Challenge, which had a contract worth £60m to deliver the youth scheme on behalf of the NCS Trust.

The Challenge filed High Court documents against the NCS earlier this month for breach of contract in seven regions and defamation.

The NCS Trust will instead manage three of the NCS’s nine regions: the south west, the north east and London.

The other six regions will be managed by Reed in Partnership, Ingeus, the English Football League Trust and the Manchester-based social enterprise The Growth Company.

Approximately a third of the organisations that used to run programmes through the NCS are not included in the new list of programme delivery partners, with a majority of the English Football League clubs in the country now signed up.

A spokeswoman for the NCS said it was expected that more partner organisations would sign up in the coming weeks.

Michael Lynas, chief executive of the NCS Trust, who will leave his role next year, said: "We have worked hard to further improve our value for money by reducing costs in the back office and achieving economies of scale. These savings will be reinvested in offering more opportunities for young people and expanding and empowering our local delivery network.

"We are excited about working with so many fantastic new organisations in our growing local network, including local youth clubs, football clubs, cricket clubs and other great youth organisations.

"New local action groups led by NCS graduates and supported by community engagement partners will ensure NCS is having a year-round impact in every local authority area up and down the country."

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