Cameron pushes ahead with national service plans

By staff

David Cameron is set to push ahead with plans for a national citizens’ service, where teenagers would be given work in the community.

The prime minister is expected to release new details of the plans, saying they would give young people’s life “shape”.

“A kind of non-military national service, it is going to mix young people from different backgrounds in a way that does not happen now,” he is expected to say.

“It is going to teach them what it means to be socially responsible. Above all, it is going to inspire a generation of young people to appreciate what they can achieve and how they can be part of the ‘big society’.”

The prime minister originally unveiled the plans in a press conference with actor Michael Caine during the election campaign.

By Sketch: Cameron gets Carter

But questions were immediately raised about how effective the scheme would be, with critics saying real troublemakers would be highly unlikely to sign up to a ten day course involving community work.

The scope of the pilot schemes which go live next year will also be subject to pressure to cut departmental spending by 25%.

About 10,000 teenagers are expected to take part in the pilots, which involve outdoor activities, community work and a ‘social action project’.

The ten-day course is only part of a scheme that would involve an eight-week residential and home-based programme of activities.