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David Cameron reveals National Citizen Service role in first position since resigning as prime minister

David Cameron resigned as prime minister following Britain's vote to leave the EU. Credit: PA Wire

David Cameron has revealed that his first job outside politics since resigning as prime minister is to oversee the expansion of the National Citizen Service (NCS) he set up as PM.

Mr Cameron said the NCS was one of his proudest achievements during his six years as prime minister, and pledged to make non-military national service a "rite of passage" for every British teenager.

Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Cameron said the NCS is "building bridges across social divides", and is an example of the "Big Society" in action.

"From the pilot projects that I began as leader of the opposition, to the full-scale programme that we have today, more than 275,000 people have taken part in what has become the fastest-growing youth movement of its kind in the world," Mr Cameron wrote.

A billboard advertising David Cameron's National Citizenship Service. Credit: PA Wire

"Lifelong friendships are being built, and long-held prejudices dissolved as a result of living together and learning together."

Under the scheme, 16 and 17-year-olds from across the country spend four weeks together in the summer completing outdoor challenges in teams, and developing transferable skills for working life.

The NCS is funded by the government, and young people pay £50 to take part. Those unable to afford this are eligible to apply for bursaries.

Mr Cameron said the government is introducing the National Citizen Service Bill, which will create a Royal Charter that will ultimately enable every 16 and 17-year-old to be offered a place on the NCS.

David Cameron pictured with Sir Michael Caine at the launch of the National Citizen Service in London, 2010. Credit: PA Wire

"I am delighted that my first role in my life after politics is to continue my association with this fantastic programme by becoming chairman of NCS Patrons, bringing together a senior cross-party and cross-sector group of patrons and ambassadors who can help NCS to reach more youngsters," Mr Cameron wrote.

"By bringing together expertise from every part of society, we can embed NCS in our national fabric."

Andrew Mycock, a senior politics lecturer at the University of Huddersfield, however, criticised the NCS, saying there are "huge questions" about its value for money.

"There is no evidence to suggest it has changed behaviour or created a new mindset amongst young people – there is no longitudinal data to prove it," he told the Guardian.

"It doesn’t encourage critical citizenship. It has turned more into a CV-enhancing service, to help people get a job or university place. It isn't making young people more democratically engaged."