In the Guardian this morning Libby Brookes refers to Prospect‘s James Crabtree and the proposal for a mandatory citizenship service programme for those aged between 16 to 25.
In the original article Crabtree, along with Frank field, writes that a civic service scheme, where young people will get back minimum wage, could be the legacy of this recession. “Properly designed, such a scheme could help to reduce youth unemployment, answer many social needs that are not met by either the market or existing public services, and provide young people with structure, rites of passage, the opportunity to serve and the chance to move beyond the limited horizons in which they were born.”
Brookes disagrees. Volunteering pushes, she thinks, should not be focused on the young: “over the last year, the under-25s, as well as the over-65s, scored the highest levels in volunteering across Britain…. Significantly, the majority of the younger cohort were organising themselves online. While Catholic archbishops may prefer to dismiss social networking as a suicide risk, sites like Bebo allow their users to connect with those they can help as well as those who can help them.”