Cameron to unveil youth service plan

Prime Minister to launch scheme aimed at encouraging teenagers to work in the community.

David Cameron will today launch a national citizen service, aimed at getting 16-year-olds to work in the community. The Prime Minister will announce that about 10,000 teenagers will take part in a summer volunteering programme from next year.

The scheme, a key part of the Conservatives' "big society", was previewed by Cameron during the election campaign in an appearance with the actor Michael Caine.

Announcing the plans at Downing Street on Thursday, Cameron is expected to say they will help youngsters who feel their lives "lack shape and direction".

"A kind of non-military national service, it is going to mix young people from different backgrounds in a way that does not happen now," he will say.

"It is going to teach them what it means to be socially responsible. Above all, it is going to inspire a generation of young people to appreciate what they can achieve and how they can be part of the 'big society'."

But ministers have warned that the success of the scheme will depend on the outcome of this autumn's spending review, with all non-ring-fenced departments facing cuts of at least 25 per cent.