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This conference focused on the next steps for improving access to activities and volunteering opportunities for young people in England - and key priorities for the National Citizen Service.
It was an opportunity to assess the implementation of the National Youth Guarantee and how the aim of every young person having access to regular out of school activities by 2025 can be achieved.
Delegates also assessed the impact of the Youth Investment Fund in expanding and improving local youth facilities and services, and how it can be targeted to best support the development of young people’s health, wellbeing and skills.
Areas for discussion included:
- joint working - strategies for growing partnerships - examples and best practice to bring together schools, local government, the third sector, businesses and other stakeholders
- developing the offer - funding priorities - the scope of youth services - approaches being taken at a local level by stakeholders to improve youth services
- focusing support:
- targeted investment - mitigation of the impact of the pandemic on youth services - mental health and wellbeing
- regional disparities - priorities for youth services in the most disadvantaged communities - support for those from disadvantaged backgrounds - social mobility
- maximising positive impact - use of youth services to equip young people for educational progression and life pathways - employability prospects - increasing children’s cultural capital
- priorities going forward - the ambition of DofE programmes for every state secondary school in England - the vision for the NCS - uptake of extracurricular programmes and activities
We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with Mark Gifford, Chief Executive Officer, National Citizen Service Trust; James Robertson, Deputy Director for Youth, DCMS; and Ruth Marvel, Chief Executive Officer, The Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Further speakers who discussed best practice and notable initiatives, among others, included:
- Jaffer Ali Hussain, Chair, Institute for Youth Work - on collaboration between sectors
- Jonathan Harper, Chief Executive Officer, Future Foundations - on the design of youth programmes and collaboration with schools and businesses to provide opportunities for young people
- Alison Oliver, Chief Executive Officer, Youth Sport Trust - on work with schools in the creation of extracurricular programmes
- Julia Brown, CEO, Brandon Centre - on supporting disadvantaged young people, coaching and life support
- Kevin Munday, Chief Executive, City Year UK; and Chief Executive, ThinkForward UK - on partnering with NCS in a pilot of the UK Year of Service
The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from the DWP - as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons.