A record year for the DofE
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award announced record-breaking figures for 2013/14 as Awards topped the 100,000 mark for the first time with 108,288 young people achieving their Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards, whilst new starters peaked at 240,796, both up by 10% on the previous year.
To support this growth, more organisations, including local authorities, schools and charities, secured a licence to run the DofE, increasing a phenomenal 33% to 902 in total, whilst the number of local centres such as youth clubs, schools and young offender institutions grew by 8.5% to 12,735. The significant rise in Licensed Organisations can largely be attributed to the shift in schools to secure a DofE licence directly from the Charity, rather than through their local authority.
As the DofE approaches its 60th anniversary, the growth is testament to its relevance to young people today. The employability benefits of the programme have never been so valuable as more young people compete to secure a job; being able to demonstrate skills beyond academic results that are sought-after in the workplace, such as communication, team-working, commitment and drive, helps DofE Award holders stand out from the crowd.
The DofE is on course to realise its ambition of 300,000 young people starting their DofE each year by 2016. Continued expansion of Licensed Organisations and centres, and the recruitment of volunteers to sustain this, will positively shape the futures of more young people, support local communities and contribute to a better society at large.