UK government has not taken up discussions with Scotland over National Citizen Service

The Scottish government says it tried to arrange talks about the scheme two years ago, but none have taken place

Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament

The UK government has not taken up an offer by the Scottish government made in 2010 to discuss running the National Citizen Service scheme in the country, according to the Scottish Executive.

In response to a question about Scotland’s plans for the scheme from Third Sector, a spokeswoman for the Scottish Executive said that it had tried to arrange discussions about NCS with the UK government two years ago but no discussions took place. Last week, the Welsh government rejected the opportunity to pilot the scheme in Wales.

The Scottish Executive spokeswoman said: "The Scottish government offered to discuss NCS, including funding for the scheme, in 2010, however the UK government did not take this forward."

She added that it supported young people through a range of programmes including the Saltire Awards, a new youth volunteering award for 12 to 25-year-olds.

A spokeswoman for the Cabinet Office said that its ambition was for every 16- and 17-year-old to have the opportunity to take part in NCS across the UK. But Northern Ireland is the only devolved nation to have agreed to take part so far.

The spokeswoman said: "We are keen to continue these conversations and would be happy to offer funding for a pilot in Scotland on the same terms as Northern Ireland.

"We did have early communication with the Scottish government in 2010 about the programme, but we have not funded a Scottish pilot to date."

The NCS programme involves 16- and 17-year-olds taking part in projects that include community work, a physical challenge and a residential placement. Up to 90,000 places will be available on the scheme by 2014.

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