Beleaguered public services need investment not an army of reluctant teen ‘volunteers’

Investment in youth services would be better than hare-brained schemes

Commenting on Conservative proposals that would see 18-year-olds either join the military or do ‘volunteer’ work for a year, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said today (Sunday):

“This is a desperate attempt to distract from the issues that matter to voters and suggests Rishi Sunak has completely lost the plot.

“It shows how quickly the government is prepared to abandon the communities it promised to ‘level up’.

“The cost of this hare-brained scheme would be better spent investing in youth services and on decent apprenticeships and training.

“Government cuts have closed hundreds of youth centres, leaving many vulnerable youngsters without support, direction or job opportunities.

“Essential services need proper resourcing and enough decently paid staff to deliver for the public. Not thousands of reluctant teen ‘volunteers’ who’d rather be anywhere else and would require supervision by an already overstretched workforce.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contact:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk