We’re forever going on about how you need to make yourself stand out when applying for jobs and how you should build up experience and learn new skills to improve your CV. Well, here’s a couple of projects that could help you to do all that.

The National Citizen Service (NCS) is an opportunity for 16 and 17 year olds to get involved in a range of activities that build confidence, help you to learn new skills and even benefits your local community.

The programme takes place over three weeks during the school holidays, which includes a residential stay with your team where you’ll do activities like hiking, canoeing and climbing. You’ll also be shown ways to develop your personal and social skills and how you can make a difference in your local community through social action projects.

You’ll then need to spend at least 30 hours working on your social action project when you return from your residential to be able to claim the certificate for completing the scheme. And while that might sound like a lot of work, it’s worthwhile. Not only would you be improving your local community, you’ll also gain useful skills that will improve your CV.

The NCS is in its third year now, and previous participants have done things like start community football teams, so you’re not limited by what you can do for your social action project – get as creative as you like! Some of last year’s NCS participants will be hosting their own weekly radio show on Kerrang! from 18 March, so keep an ear out for that if you’d like to hear about their experiences.

However, if you’re not aged 16 or 17 and you’re feeling a bit left out, don’t worry, we have good news. There are other schemes or projects that you could get involved in too.

One that you might have heard of is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, also known as the D of E. The DofE has three different levels of award and is open to people aged between 14 and 24. The award encourages you to get involved in a physical activity, a volunteering placement, learn a new skill and even go on an expedition (sounds rather grand doesn’t it?). It’s another scheme that employers recognise and value because it helps you to develop all those transferable skills, like planning, team work and organisation.

Maybe a project or a scheme like those two isn’t really your bag but you still want to do some volunteering. Well, those folks over at vInspired have this one covered. They have a whole host of volunteering opportunities listed on their site in all sorts of areas, including sports and coaching, arts and performance and even events and festivals.

So, what are you waiting for? Get volunteering!