• France's news in English

France to roll out volunteer military service

Oliver Gee · 28 Apr 2015, 11:53

Published: 28 Apr 2015 11:53 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
With France still healing after the Paris terror attacks in January and with unemployment levels continuing to rise, President Hollande has gone on the offensive in a bid to give French youths a better start to life while potentially expanding the armed forces.
This week he announced a plan to introduce three volunteer service locations for a total of 1,000 young adults, aged between 18 and 25, who have either dropped out of school or who come from troubled families. 
By 2016, the service will be offered to 2,000 young French people in seven locations across the country. 
"Youth is our most important cause," said Hollande on announcing the scheme.
The service, which will run for either six months or one year, would involve training in civilian industries like hospitality and the building trade, as well as more basic skills like punctuality and politeness - all while living under military discipline.
The concept has been developed in France's overseas territories in recent decades, affording participants better opportunities when they rejoin civilian life.
"The aim is to give a second chance at employment for those struggling to find work," Minister of Overseas Territories, George Pau-Langevin told Le Parisien newspaper.
But several thousand youths potentially joining the work force after their service may be too little too late to make any kind of noticeable change to France'e woeful unemployment statistics, which hit a new record in March at 3.51 million people, up 0.4 percent from February
The Labour Ministry said on Monday that young people have been especially hard hit.
President Francois Hollande has pledged not to seek re-election in 2017 if he does not succeed in reversing the trend of ever-increasing unemployment.
Story continues below…
Other French politicians have called for the re-introduction of compulsory national military service, prompted by the January terror attacks which left 17 dead.
France phased out the service under former president Jacques Chirac in 1997 after finding it had no trouble in recruiting professional soldiers.
Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Is Marks & Spencer to close Champs-Elysées store?
Photo: AFP

Is it goodbye to crumpets, jam, and English biscuits?

After Calais, France faces growing migrant crisis in Paris
Photo: AFP

While all the focus has been on the closure of the Jungle in Calais, France must deal with the thousands of migrants sleeping rough in Paris. And their numbers are growing.

Restaurant boss suspected of kidnapping Cannes millionaire
The Nice residence of the president of Cannes' Grand Hotel, Jacqueline Veyrac. Photo: AFP

A restaurant owner 'harbouring a grudge', apparently.

Le Thought du Jour
Vive le pont - The best thing about French public holidays
Photo: AFP

The UK might have guaranteed public holidays, but France has "les ponts".

What's on in France: Top things to do in November
Don't miss the chocolate fashion show in Lyon. Photo: Salon du chocolat

The autumn is in full swing in France, and there's plenty to do.

What Paris 'squalor pit' Gare du Nord will look like in future
All photos: Wilmotte et Assoicés

IN PICTURES: The universally accepted 'squalor pit of Europe' is finally getting a facelift.

Halloween: The ten spookiest spots in Paris
Is there really a ghost on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower? Photo: AFP

Read at your own peril.

Halloween holiday in France: Traffic nightmares and sun!
Photo: AFP

But it's great news for the country's beleaguered tourism industry.

French MPs vote to make Airbnb 'professionals' pay tax
Photo: AFP

Do you make a lot of money through Airbnb in France? You'll have to pay a share to the taxman in future.

France and Britain accused of abandoning Calais minors
Photo: AFP

Scores of young migrants are forced to sleep rough for a second night.

Fifteen of the most bizarre laws in France
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Medieval town in south of France upholds ban on UFOs
Mouth fun? French words you just can't translate literally
How France plans to help its stressed-out police force
Paris: 'Flying' water taxis to be tested on River Seine
Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
How speaking French can really mess up your English
The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
jobs available