News & Events
David Cameron’s work with young graduates is an inspiration
By John Griffin, Chairman of the Advisory Board, Finito
I was lucky enough to meet with former Prime Minister, David Cameron, last week, and to have a chance to speak with him about his wonderful work with young people making the transition from education into work. Not enough people know about National Citizen Service, which Cameron set up six years ago, while he was PM, but he says it is one of his proudest achievements.
NCS offers young people, aged 15 to 17, the chance to attend residential courses away from home for two or three weeks: socialising, having fun with adventurous activities like kayaking and abseiling, learning new skills, and performing charity and social action work. Cameron is the new Chairman of Patrons, having originally come up with the idea more than 10 years ago as part of his work on social mobility. Through NCS, young people from difficult backgrounds can change the course of their lives, growing in confidence and ambition, and learning vital ‘soft skills’ like teamwork, resilience and the ability to relate to others. 400,000 young people will have graduated from the NCS programme by the end of 2017, and employers are delighted to see NCS on applicant’s CVs.
We talked about the fact that NCS and Finito have a lot in common: both recognise that young people need more than just great GCSEs and A-levels to succeed in an extremely crowded job market today. Confidence, teamwork, empathy and fantastic social skills are just as critical, and yet our schools are not always able to devote enough time to these important areas.
I commend Cameron for his wonderful work with NCS, which has just unveiled a high-profile roster of patrons to help steer its growth and inspire the next generation. I was delighted that he also had some kind words to say about Finito: we are all working hard to help young people identify what it is they want to do with their lives, to furnish them with the skills they need to succeed, and to give them every chance to make their ambitions a reality.