3,000 to take part in French National Service pilot

Volunteers in departments across France will trial President's Service national universel scheme in June

Young volunteers across France will take part in a trial of President Emmanuel Macron's national service scheme later this year.

Some 3,000 young people will take part in a four-week pilot of the Service national universel (SNU) in June, Gabriel Attal, Secretary of State for Youth, said on Wednesday in an interview with AFP.

For the first two weeks, the volunteers will be housed in groups of 10 in boarding schools, training centres or army buildings, where they will take part in team-building exercises and be trained in a variety of skills including basic first aid and environmental protection. They will then work on 'individual commitments' until the end of the service period.

During the initial group stage, volunteers will wear a uniform, and will begin each day by saluting the flag and singing La Marseillaise.

Ardennes, Cher, Creuse, Eure, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Saône, Loire-Atlantique, Morbihan, Nord, Puy-de-Dôme, Val-d'Oise, and Vaucluse, as well as French Guiana - were selected to test the SNU according to franceinfo.

Mr Attal did not set a timescale on rolling out the scheme nationally, although earlier reports have suggested this 'National Service' would be mandatory by 2026. He did, however, estimate in an interview with Le Point that the cost of the full scheme should be in the region of €1billion to €1.5billion a year.

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