A UK-wide youth scheme that has impacted almost half a million people since its formation in 2011 was designed to help bring people together in Northern Ireland according to a government minister involved in its creation

Newly appointed Northern Ireland minister Nick Hurd MP was the keynote speaker at the NCS Summer Graduation in The Mac last week, and he spoke of the objectives the NCS team in government had when they were planning its launch.

NCS is operated by Co-operation Ireland in Northern Ireland.

NCS Summer Graduation

“It makes me incredibly proud because as you mentioned many years ago I was a minister in government that led the team that created NCS and this opportunity for thousands and thousands of young people who have been on it.

“And when we sat round in that room all those years ago the one place we wanted it to work most was Northern Ireland and here you are, and it makes me so, so proud and you can be incredibly proud of what you achieved.”

Minister Hurd addressed 250 young people from across Northern Ireland who had taken part in NCS over the summer. Alongside fun events, they undertook social action projects which involved mental health advocacy and environmental initiatives.

The minister praised the young people for taking part.

“I want to congratulate every one of you for stepping up and being part of something big and beautiful and important because you are the future of this country.

“Your voice matters, and your attitude matters, and I really hope that for most of you, if not all of you, that NCS has been one of the most positive experiences of your life so far because that’s how people feel about it.

“You’ve learned stuff about yourself, and as NCS grows more and more people will want to employ you in the future and give you that job. They will look at that brand on your CV and will know something about it and through that will know something about you or will be curious about it.

“The skills that you have developed and learned are ones that employers increasingly want to see.”

NCS is funded by the Department for Communities and The Honourable The Irish Society.

To find out more about NCS click here.