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The Welsh government has turned down funding from the UK government to set up a National Citizen Service pilot in Wales, because it already spends £2m per year on similar volunteering schemes for youth organisations.
In a visit to an NCS scheme for London teenagers taking place in Wales recently, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “It’s an incredibly positive programme that brings young people from across the country together and gives them a taste of the outdoors, a sense of what it’s like to be a full citizen of the UK, and I’d love this programme to be available in Wales. We have made funding available for the Welsh Assembly government and I hope they’ll take up this opportunity.”
However, in response the Welsh government issued a statement that said: “We have no plans to introduce the National Citizen Service in Wales.”
It added: “The Welsh government has always recognised that volunteers have a key role in supporting their communities and has invested accordingly. The minister for local government and communities, Carl Sargeant, last year announced £2m funding for 2012/13 split equally between the Volunteering in Wales Fund and for GwirVol - an initiative supporting and promoting youth volunteering.”
Both initatives are run by the Welsh Council for Voluntary Action.
A Welsh government spokesman told civilsociety.co.uk that Wales did not need the money because it already funds those organisations and “the amount of money would have been fairly small”.
October pilot for England
The Cabinet Office also announced that it would run an October pilot of a shorter NCS programme in England.
Young people aged 16 and 17 will be able to spend a week away over their half-term and then six weekends afterwards completing social action projects.
Earlier this year the Cabinet Office announced that a similar October pilot would take place in Northern Ireland.
Applicants for 2013
Meanwhile it has been revealed that one of the bidders for the 2013 NCS contracts includes private sector services firm Serco.
It is part of the NCS Network, which is a consortium that includes Catch22, the National Youth Agency, Vinspired and UK Youth. It is bidding for eight out of the 19 NCS contracts available.
The providers for 2013 are due to be announced in September.
This article was taken from www.civilsociety.co.uk - http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/finance/news/content/13148