Cumbrian apprentices given chance to take up a life changing challenge this autumn

A new autumn programme will give more young people the chance to get involved in National Citizen Service (NCS), a government programme managed by Inspira (formerly Connexions Cumbria) in partnership with the Outward Bound Trust in Cumbria.

Over half term, apprentices along with other young people who have just started college and sixth form, have the opportunity to spend time away from home doing outdoor activities and learning new skills. During the rest of the programme, which takes place over the following six weeks, they will work with their teams to learn about their community and organise and run their own social action projects.

With youth unemployment still standing at over 1 million, it is important young people develop the essential skills required by future employers. National Citizen Service aims to develop life skills to help young people transition in to adulthood, while also teaching them key skills such as communication, team working and leadership skills.

Mark Bowman, Inspira chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to even more young people across Cumbria. The feedback we hear from employers is that young people are lacking in some life skills required to be productive in the work place. NCS has been designed to help bridge this gap. October is an exciting time for us as the new programme comes on the back of a graduation ceremony for the summer participants.”

National Citizen Service has attracted some significant celebrity support including Bear Grylls, and actress Mellissa Suffield who spent time with young people from Cumbria at Lake Ullswater.

In the summer, thousands of young people across the country took part in the NCS course. Of those, 92 per cent said they would recommend the experience to a friend and 9/10 was the average mark given for how worthwhile NCS had been for them.