Ex-British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has decided to assure that every British teenager’s first job is non-military national service. He has pledged to try to make it “a rite of passage” for every teenager.
Writing in The Telegraph, Cameron announced that he is to chair an expanded National Citizen Service (NCS)- a summer camp initiative he set up in his first months in office, which is designed to instil social responsibility in young people as part of his ‘big society’.
A month after stepping down as MP, Cameron said that this service was an example of the big society in action. He adds that he wanted to offer every 16-and-17 year old the chance to take part in the four-week camps to embed the initiative ‘in our national fabric’.
Cameron writes, “That should be our goal – not necessarily a compulsory programme, but one that is universally available and becomes a normal part of growing up for every teenager.”
Under the initiative, teenagers from all backgrounds take part in a voluntary project aimed at putting something back into their community. Cameron said if the idea was widely adopted it would “give every generation a greater sense of purpose, optimism and purpose”.
The bill was introduced in British Parliament on Tuesday, where his successor Theresa May backed the programme in the form of a national service bill. He thanked her for the bill which will create a royal charter to put the NCS on a permanent legal footing.
The new unpaid and voluntary role had been approved by the advisory committee on business appointments, a watchdog which looks at the revolving door between Whitehall and the private and voluntary sector. Also, Angela Browning, from the chair of Advisory committee reminded Cameron of rules preventing former ministers from lobbying the Government.
The NCS is run by Michael Lynas, a former civil servant from the No 10 policy unit. Its operations director is Will Gallagher, a former special adviser to Chris Grayling when he was justice secretary.
In his Telegraph article Cameron urged businesses, charities and MPs from all parties to get behind the idea. He added, “I am delighted that my first role in my life after politics is to continue my association with this fantastic programme by becoming chairman of NCS Patrons, bringing together a senior cross-party and cross-sector group of patrons and ambassadors who can help NCS to reach more youngsters.
“That is the vision for NCS that I had all those years ago when I first thought about developing the programme, and together we now have the opportunity to make it a reality for generations to come.”
David Cameron had stepped down as PM on June 24, a day after Britain voted in a referendum to leave the European Union (EU).