SINGAPORE - The first intake of the new volunteer youth corps will start training in June, after recruitment began last month.
Under the one-year programme, called Youth Corps Singapore (YCS), the volunteers will go through a structured residential training programme to equip them with knowledge and leadership skills, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said in Parliament yesterday.
They will also embark on both a local and an overseas volunteering stint, lasting three to six months each.
The youth corps is the first national-level programme of its kind, and also "a first in many steps towards more impactful youth development and engagement", Mr Wong added.
The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) is also looking at how it can better engage young people through having more youth-oriented spaces such as *Scape.
More details will be given later.
The first cohort will comprise 200 young people aged 15 to 35 years, mainly nominated by youth organisations and institutes of higher learning. The target is to have 6,000 volunteers each year.
The initiative, first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at last year's National Day Rally, is meant to spur young Singaporeans to take up community work and continue to do so beyond their school years.
Young adults tend to volunteer less after they start working. Statistics from the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre showed that only 28 per cent of those aged between 25 and 34 volunteered in 2012, compared to 43 per cent for those aged 15 to 24.