DCMS Respond to the Full Time Social Action Review

DCMS have today published their response to the Full Time Social Action Review. The 2017 National Youth 1 Social Action Survey showed that young people who had participated in social action in the past 12 months had stronger personal networks and higher life satisfaction than those who have never done any social action. It also highlighted that young people who take part in social action experience a range of further benefits – 61% took part in more sport and exercise and 81% stated a belief of improved future job prospects.


UK Youth have picked out some highlights from the response below. Click here to read the full response.


Response to recommendations:


Establish a Ministerial Group (bringing together the interests of all Govt departments in optimising the value of FTSA)

  • DCMS will consider the issue of FTSA at the cross-government Civil Society Directors group bringing together reps from departments across Govt.


Work with DWP (to ensure social action is accessible to all – DWP supporting job coaches to proactively inform young people of their right to participate in voluntary activities & that volunteering is recognised as valuable)

  • DWP already recognises that volunteering can help people of all ages to develop vital skills for work and help them towards the job market.
  • Claimants who are volunteers are permitted 48 hours’ notice if attending a job interview and a week’s notice before starting work. As such, claimants can rearrange their volunteering commitments and not affect their availability for work.
  • The next iteration of the DWP training package for work coaches will be reviewed to enhance and strengthen messaging in line with the recommendation and this update will be cascaded to job centre staff.


Work with DFE (to fully understand the role of FTSA in engaging those young people furthest away from the labour market, to investigate value of FTSA as a route to work readiness and social mobility. Recommend DFE consider piloting FTSA as part of the transition year initiative)

  • The Department for Education recognises the importance of youth social action. Engaging young people in social action is an important aspect of the department’s Opportunity Area (OA) programme.
  • The Department for Education encourages education and training providers to offer 16-18 year olds the opportunity to participate in social action as a part of their study programme, alongside qualifications, work experience, English and Maths.
  • The Post-16 Skills Plan, published in July 2016, set out the Government’s plans to transform technical education. In partnership with employers, new T Levels are being developed: rigorous, classroom-based technical study programmes at level 3, designed to support entry to skilled employment in technical occupations at level 3 and above. As part of these reforms, a transition offer will be developed to 6 ensure that as many young people as possible can complete T levels. The T Level consultation response, published in May 2018, confirmed that DfE would work with the Institute, providers and sector bodies during 2018 and consider how best to target the offer.


Develop an improved evidence base (More research and wider evidence needed to justify expansion. Evaluate current practice and innovation across the UK commissioned and managed by DCMS. BLF to consider FTSA and work when distributing dormant asset funding)

  • Govt recognises importance of evidence for youth work, funding Centre for Youth Impact & investing £1 million in a 3 year evaluation of open access youth provision through Youth Investment Fund Learning Project.
  • DCMS will continue to monitor evidence base and build up a picture of youth sector evidence as part of the Civil Society Strategy and considerations ahead of the next Spending Review.
  • May be the possibility for organisations offering FTSA to apply for dormant assets funding. Further announcements will be made later this year.


Reinforce best practice via the Civil Society Strategy (Recommend the NCVO should lead an activity with NNVIA, Volunteering Matters, Association of Volunteer Managers and V-Inspired to develop non-mandatory guidelines specific to 16-25 year olds)

  • A working group of named organisations in the review has been convened to explore best practice.


National Citizen Service (NCS should explore the option to act as a broker and quality assurance body for FTSA opportunities)

  • NCS Trust cannot take up the role of a QA body for FTSA opportunities. The NCS Trust was set up to deliver the NCS programme and to achieve positive outcomes for participants across its threefold mission of improved social mobility, social cohesion and civic engagement. Additional responsibility as a quality assurance body would detract from these core functions.


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