Gordon Brown wants all teenagers to volunteer

Labour election manifesto will include plans for accredited schemes

Teenagers could be compelled to do 50 hours of community work under plans set out by Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the weekend.

The scheme, to be included in the Labour Party's next election manifesto, would see youths aged between 14 and 19 receiving certificates in exchange for completing accredited schemes.
Writing in the News of the World, Brown said he wanted to 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," he said. "That would mean young people being expected to contribute at least 50 hours of community service by the age of 19."

A spokesman for the Office of the Third Sector said the OTS would be working with other government departments over the next few weeks to finalise the details of the scheme. He said it was possible that it would be compulsory.

The scheme would build on existing schemes run by youth volunteering charity v and would dovetail with the citizenship classes that already form part of the National Curriculum, he added.

"The aim is to help local organisations and young people develop skills for progressing into further education and training," he said.

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