I dont normally get involved in political shenanigans, but this has got me a bit rattled ('compulsory' - another erosion of our/our childrens freedom), and was released low key in News of the world (but i found it on the internet) :
By Ian Kirby, 12/04/2009
PM Gordon Brown intends to force every teenager in the country to carry out 50 HOURS of work to help the community.
His call today for youngsters to do their duty and work for Britain echoes Lord Kitchener's World War One recruiting poster with its slogan: "Your country needs you."
Writing exclusively for the News of the World on this page, the Prime Minister reveals the community service would be COMPULSORY.
It must be completed by the time a youngster reaches 19.
Mr Brown says: "It is my ambition to create a Britain in which there is a clear expectation that all young people will undertake some service to their community-and where community service will become a normal part of growing up in Britain.
"And, by doing so, the contributions of each of us will build a better society for all of us."
Last year the PM proposed the idea of a National Youth Service, which would channel young volunteers into community work. But now he plans to make it compulsory and include it in Labour's next election manifesto.
Aides say rebuilding Britain's community spirit will be the central theme of Labour's campaign.
Mr Brown has already introduced citizenship classes in every school. Under the latest plans, teenagers would take part in approved local projects - such as refurbishing community centres, visiting the elderly and helping charities.
Some may also be able to apply to do voluntary work abroad. One idea Mr Brown has proposed is to help create a global army of volunteers to work in disaster areas.
From 2011, everyone will have to stay in school or formal training until age 18-and his new scheme is expected to be integrated into that as part of the national curriculum.
It will be formally launched on a voluntary basis in September, and expanded to make it compulsory if Mr Brown wins the next election.
Young can boost community spirit
By Gordon Brown
EVEN in the face of these difficult economic times, the generosity and community spirit of the British people is humbling.
Whether raising record amounts for Comic Relief or rallying round after disaster struck in the North Sea, we have seen communities across the country draw closer than ever to help and care for each other in times of need.
What is inspirational is the number of young people who are serving their communities in endeavours from charity fundraising to green activism. We want to harness and encourage this community spirit.
Already three million young people give their time to community service each year, usually without recognition or reward, whether by helping in an old age home or tutoring younger pupils, campaigning on local issues or fundraising for global causes, organising community activities or helping deliver environmental projects.
But we can achieve a step change in the participation of young people in community service.
It is my ambition to create a Britain in which there is a clear expectation that all young people will undertake some service to their community, and where community service will become a normal part of growing up.
That would mean young people being expected to contribute at least 50 hours of community service by the the age of 19. This will build on the platform provided by citizenship classes in schools.
As we set out our manifesto for the next Parliament, we will consider the best way of achieving our 50-hour goal. By building from compulsory citizenship studies in the 14-16 curriculum, we can create an expectation of national youth community service.
And we can take immediate steps in the next school year to boost national youth community service. This will give thousands more pupils the opportunity to participate in community service and many more school-leavers the opportunity to undertake full-time and part-time placements.
Martin Luther King once said that everyone could be great because everyone can serve. And with our younger generations more involved in their communities, we can build a stronger, more united Britain.