Gordon's volunteer army
Posted by Ian at 10 09 PM on Saturday, April 11
PM Gordon Brown intends to force every teenager in the country to carry out 50 HOURS of work to help the community.
His call today for youngsters to do their duty and work for Britain echoes Lord Kitchener’s World War One recruiting poster with its slogan: “Your country needs you.”
Writing exclusively for the News of the World on this page, the Prime Minister reveals the community service would be COMPULSORY.
It must be completed by the time a youngster reaches 19.
Mr Brown says: “It is my ambition to create a Britain in which there is a clear expectation that all young people will undertake some service to their community—and where community service will become a normal part of growing up in Britain.
“And, by doing so, the contributions of each of us will build a better society for all of us.”
Last year the PM proposed the idea of a National Youth Service, which would channel young volunteers into community work.
But now he plans to make it compulsory and include it in Labour’s next election manifesto.
Aides say rebuilding Britain’s community spirit will be the central theme of Labour’s campaign.
Mr Brown has already introduced citizenship classes in every school. Under the latest plans, teenagers would take part in approved local projects —such as refurbishing community centres, visiting the elderly and helping charities.
Some may also be able to apply to do voluntary work abroad. One idea Mr Brown has proposed is to help create a global army of volunteers to work in disaster areas.
From 2011, everyone will have to stay in school or formal training until age 18—and his new scheme is expected to be integrated into that as part of the national curriculum.
It will be formally launched on a voluntary basis in September, and expanded to make it compulsory if Mr Brown wins the next election.