People concerned about proposal to bring back National Service for 16-year-olds in UK
| Last updated
People are concerned about a proposal to bring back National Service for 16-year-olds in the UK.
Conservative Party member and Leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt, has backed an all-new 'Great British National Service' that sees every single 16-year-old in Britain being automatically signed up for the service.
The scheme effectively sees teens spending a fortnight away from home on a civic exploration trip as well as completing a set amount of volunteering hours in a year.
While the proposed programme would not be mandatory, people would have to actively opt out of the scheme if they did not want to or could not take part in it.
This element differs from the pre-existing civic service scheme, National Citizen Service (NCS) created by former Prime Minister David Cameron back in 2009, which requires people to opt in instead.
According to estimates, the new scheme could see up to a whopping 600,000 teenagers getting involved, which is way above the current peak participation records of NCS at the moment.
The scheme is said to help young Brits from a range of various backgrounds to mix together, while also remedying elements of the impacts that Covid-19 lockdowns had on young Britons' education and socialisation in the adult world.
Talking about the national service, Mordaunt wrote in The Telegraph: "No one is more effective at helping others than a willing volunteer. Nothing is more rewarding than serving your community and nation.
"Many young people are struggling with their mental health, to find purpose and feel a sense of belonging."
She continued: "Stepping forward to help others could be part of the answer. Service can help build the resilience, skills and pride in their community and country that many need.
"National service is an old idea, but today, the centre-Right think tank Onward has unveiled its proposal for a modern version. I can understand its motives for doing so."
Mordaunt added: "They hope to harness young people’s goodwill and community spirit, tap into the energy and imagination of the next generation, and promote good mental health and resilience. I applaud these objectives."
It seems, however, that not all of the British public are on board with the new scheme with one woman telling Good Morning Britain: "I would be against this idea. If it was happening to me, I wouldn't be on board with it. I wouldn't want to participate."
What do you make of it?