Norfolk youngsters urged to sign up to apprenticeship scheme

National Citizenship Service graduation ceremony. Pictured: John Ruddy with some of the 16 and 17 ye

National Citizenship Service graduation ceremony. Pictured: John Ruddy with some of the 16 and 17 year olds who took part in a pilot of the scheme. - Credit: Supplied

Young people in Norfolk are being urged to sign up for a new citizenship scheme which aims to arm them with a host of key skills.

The National Citizenship Service is a new government initiative for 16 and 17-year-olds being run by Reed in Partnership in this region.

It combines outdoor adventure, teamwork, employment skills and volunteering as the teenagers meet a range of new people from their county.

Jonathan Aldridge, of Reed, said: 'The thinking behind the whole programme is it's supposed to move the demographic of young people towards being more engaged, more responsible and more interested in their community.'

The programme starts with a two-week residential away from home where young people are encouraged to get to know each other through a series of outdoor adventures and team-building activities.

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The teenagers are then put into teams of 12 to 15 people and assigned to a local organisation which they will each aim to help for 30 hours over the next few weeks in the form of a 'social action project'.

Mr Aldridge said: 'It's supposed to open up skills for employers, apprenticeships and universities. It's now recognised by UCAS as well.'

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The course costs a maximum of £50 per person taking part although young people from low-income families will be offered support and could have their fee paid for them.

The programme runs at various times in the spring, summer and autumn, coinciding with school holidays.

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