Conscription call for youth

Cuts in the armed forces could be covered by recruiting up to 80,000 young people and giving them apprenticeships, a councillor has suggested.

Amber Valley Conservative Alex Stevenson said they could support the work of the Territorial Army as well as regular troops.

And he believes they would be great assets when they head back to civvy street - because they would be qualified in a range of skills from engineering work to accountancy.

Cllr Stevenson said: “Some say it’s conscription but we have a generation out of work. Let’s train them for three years and get them into work. That is better than sitting at home at the taxpayers’ expense.”

He believes it would also stiffen the nation’s security at a time when it is threatened by terrorism. “In today’s world, we do not know who our enemies are or in what countries they live so we must be prepared for all scenarios. Reducing the armed forces is the greatest act of folly a government could ever do. Not since 1939 has Great Britain been in such a vulnerable position. We would have a fully trained reserve which could be sent into active service on full pay.

Cllr Stevenson suggested the scheme could apply to younger people who have been out of work for six months.