National service could boost job chances, Conservatives say

Home Politics National service could boost job chances, Conservatives say
National service could boost job chances, Conservatives say

Labour questioned how the Ministry of Defence would fund 30,000 new beds for the scheme – and pointed to cuts in the funding of the volunteer National Citizen Service in 2022 when Mr Sunak was chancellor, claiming the policy was “unravelling by the minute”.

“What were the flaws in that model of youth service which made it a bad use of money, that have been corrected in the new plan proposed this week?” a Labour spokesperson said.

On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Foreign Office minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan blamed budget cuts on the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine, and said the royal commission would consider the accommodation issues.

She added that the national service scheme would not be implemented in full until the end of the next parliament.

“The world is a very unstable and not a reassuring place at all. We need our young people to understand and be part of our communities and our incredible country that is the UK,” she said.

“But also making sure that they have the skills and resilience because we need a secure future for our country, because the world is not a safe place. And freedom does not come for free.”

On Sunday, Home Secretary James Cleverly ruled out criminal sanctions for teenagers who refused to participate in any part of the scheme, saying: “There’s no-one going to jail over this.”

But on Sky News, Ms Trevelyan suggested that employment prospects could be affected.

“Employers would be clear that they would look to see what you had done. This would become part of the normal toolkit that young people would present as they go through their careers,” she said.

Asked on Times Radio whether parents would face prosecution if their 18-year-olds refuse to sign up, she replied: “I’m not going to write the detailed policy now. That’s what a royal commission programme of works will be for.”

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