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National Service for Young Folk

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The core element of national service is that it was compulsory, and regardless of whether it is military or community-based work, compulsion is wrong.

    If what you are talking about is making volunteering easier, then I don't really think it's all that necessary. People who want to volunteer have plenty of opportunities anyway- DofE, the Prince's Trust and do-it.org are all there on a national scale.

    If it's not compulsory, and its not at eighteen, it sounds like something the Duke of Edinburgh's trust already does perfectly well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    The core element of national service is that it was compulsory, and regardless of whether it is military or community-based work, compulsion is wrong.

    If what you are talking about is making volunteering easier, then I don't really think it's all that necessary. People who want to volunteer have plenty of opportunities anyway- DofE, the Prince's Trust and do-it.org are all there on a national scale.

    If it's not compulsory, and its not at eighteen, it sounds like something the Duke of Edinburgh's trust already does perfectly well.

    Well for a start a lot of parents including mine would have zero idea what the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme is ... and it don't help it's named after a chap a lot of people take the piss out of ... :)

    But I guess a lot of what I mean is something on a National Scale and by National I mean fully supported by Government with mandates for local councils to take part in providing opportunities for young people to take part everywhere from the big cities to the small villages.

    If you tell an employer you've got your Silver Award at the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme most probably wouldn't even know if that's particular good or bad but if you have written down you've got 12 GCSE's then they're more likely to know if it's good or bad because it's a national scheme they they themselves would most likely have been through themselves.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Assuming that national service refers to any sort of compulsory service, no it's a stupid idea, not to mention totally immoral. For a start, what about the plenty of 16-18 year olds who are on their way to achieving something and becoming a productive member of society? Surely it'd be unfair for it to be only applicable to certain teenagers? Surely it'd end up with everyone with rich parents buying their way out of it, and everyone with poorer parents being further stigmatised?

    The main problem here is the "problem" we're trying to solve, which essentially is that loads of kids are leaving school without any worthwhile skills. A better scheme in my view would be some form of paid community service, where school leavers can spend a couple of years doing something that pays about the same as working behind a checkout in Asda, but gives them far more skills and variety. An even better scheme would be to give more companies incentives to train apprentices (and not in the "sack them as soon as they qualify" sense either). We have one company in our town that does most of the apprenticeship oppotunities in things like welding, sheet metal working, plumbing, etc, and it's ridiculously competitve to get a place, because anyone who doesn't go to college in my town tries to get one of these. So it's not as if the vast majority of young people don't want a job with future prospects, there's just not a lot going. Maybe other industries could be tempted to do a similar thing?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I had to do National Service.

    Fuck that for that laugh, let me tell you.

    And as far as I could see it had no effect in wrong uns' learning discipline and mending their ways. On the contrary, many took the experience as an opportunity to expand on their wongdoing and ended up engaging in disgusting bullying, theft and other crimes.

    And as Flashman's Ghost said earlier, the military itself are not too keen either. As my officers used to tell me, they'd much rather have willing young men and angry and reluctant young men in their ranks.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it's quite hard to get an apprenticeship at the moment as there don't seem to be enough vacancies for people who want them. Perhaps having nationally sponsored apprenticeships in things like carpentry, and accounting where you learn a few different things in the first 6 months, then go on to specialise for another 18 months would be better?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe at 18 they should be given a choice. Goto uni and pay for it. Join the army for a couple of years, either work as a grunt or learn a trade, leave the army with a decent qualification, and get a free ride through uni, ie all your fees paid for and a grant instead of a loan.
    I'd think you'd then have a decent incentive to join voluntarily, the less academic among us might have an incentive to join in order to get themselves up the ladder a bit, and we'd solve the army's manpower problems.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Maybe at 18 they should be given a choice. Goto uni and pay for it. Join the army for a couple of years, either work as a grunt or learn a trade, leave the army with a decent qualification, and get a free ride through uni, ie all your fees paid for and a grant instead of a loan.
    I'd think you'd then have a decent incentive to join voluntarily, the less academic among us might have an incentive to join in order to get themselves up the ladder a bit, and we'd solve the army's manpower problems.

    Not invading countries might solve the army's manpower issues. Tbh, the less academic among us aren't going to be accepted into university in the first place. The less academic people (i.e. the ones that usually end up in dead end jobs with no future) won't have the requirements to get into college, let alone university. And the army already offers a fairly big incentive to learn a trade that will be useful when you leave, and plenty of people go that way. Unfortunately, some people are more sensible than to sign their lives away to a country that may very well have them on the first ship to a war that they don't agree with.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    DG wrote: »
    Well for a start a lot of parents including mine would have zero idea what the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme is

    I think that's unfortunate, but at my school (an inner-city comp) the DofE was well-known and actively encouraged, and it was at the schools of my friends too. It's something that's actively encouraged through Connexions too.

    There are plenty of national schemes already (and the DofE is pretty well known, really) for those who want to do them. Those who don't want to do them won't be helped by a "government scheme", whatever form it would take.

    Any supposed problems won't be solved by creating any more volunteering schemes. Volunteering has to be worth it, and it's only the well-off who can afford to volunteer.

    My job is the equivalent of a CAB adviser, and I couldn't afford to do it for free.
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