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Government backs civic service concept

07/12/2009 Joanna
More young people could be encouraged to take up teaching or other socially responsible positions after a government minister backed a new report on the potential of civic service.

Thinktank Demos has proposed the concept of civic service, which would be similar to national service except that young people would be able to choose to undertake any activity that benefits the local community, rather than going straight into employment after leaving full-time education.

Further education minister David Lammy has backed the idea, telling the BBC that the proposals could feature in the Labour party's manifesto ahead of the next election.

He suggested that young people could be encouraged to undertake the civic service at key times in their lives, including while still at school, meaning teachers may also have a role to play in developing the concept.

It is also hoped the implementation of a civic service initiative would help cut the number of young people who are out of work, by helping to train them in specific skills.

Recent data from the Office for National Statistics has shown the recession has hit young people particularly hard, with those leaving full-time education this year finding it increasingly tough to obtain work.

Written by Theo Foulds
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