National service - A modern take on an age old issue

If you were to speak to people over the age of 65 in this country about national service, a large proportion would say that it needs to be brought back. This is often misunderstood, thought of as sending young men and women off to camps in the middle of nowhere for 6 weeks of military training.


This outdated concept of national service will never gain any kind of traction. The idea that should be put forward is that of a modern national service; one where young people may not need to go out and do military exercises for a few weeks but instead they are trained in various vocational fields such as I.T or fitness. In some cases it may even be a better way for people to get qualifications that they may not have gained whilst in formal education. This would mean that someone at the age of 16, who may leave school lacking direction in life, has the opportunity to join an intensive program of their choice and gain transferable experience or qualifications; in effect it would mean that someone without the highest prospects would be able to gain some kind of experience in a field that they may want to move into.


817,000 young people aged 16-24 were unemployed in March to May 2014- a scheme such as this would increase job prospects for young people because, if they were to leave school at the age of 16 and go into one of these programs, young people would be much better suited to future employment. For example, with these schemes there would still be the opportunity to enter a form of military national service, which would be more of a taster of what it would be like to do basic training. If the individual were to enjoy that course they may want to explore a further career in the military, and would be both better informed in doing so and more valuable to their employer. But if they don't, future employers would be able to see that they have gone through this training and that they have transferable skills in things like team work and discipline, and any other areas that may be affected by their choices in training.


Where full-blown national service has often been dismissed as an infringement of liberty, treating a smaller scheme as an opportunity to help develop skills would make it an educational program.


The most obvious argument against something like this would be that of funding, but if you were to look at this as an investment in the future of our country’s future through young people it is an obvious choice as it would help people to develop skills that they may not have gained in formal education.