National service not military service

Earlier this week The Times reported a suggestion that national service could usefully be re-introduced.  Many people do not like the idea of return to a system of military training for all young people.

However, national service need not be military service. From the age of sixteen young people might benefit from being able to volunteer to make themselves useful to the community in a variety of ways.

Basic training would enable them to look after themselves, their surroundings and their companions, prepared to work purposefully away from their usual surroundings and familiar company. Away too from recruitment into criminal gangs. Young people at risk of trouble with the law might be obliged to volunteer by the courts and employers, including the armed forces, might well use such a service as a recruiting ground.

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