The Millennium ExperienceChronicle of the Future

Homeboys hit the streets

16.04.05: BRITAIN IS bringing back national service ­ but only for the under-18s. After trial runs across the country, the Home Service and the Childcare Army, the new regimented community care schemes, go nationwide this week.

From June 2006, no school-leaver will be eligible for national assistance until he or she has spent at least six months in one of the schemes.

Home Service recruits operate as community patrollers, general helpers and good examples. The Childcare Army supports teachers and carers in the growing number of pre-school nurseries in England and Wales.

At present, the Home Service is 70% male. Jamie James, the supervisor of the service's Salisbury training camp, says male school-leavers are not attracted to the Childcare Army.

"Rising testosterone levels and childcare don't really go together," he says.

"Anyway, boys are better off outside, getting fresh air and exercise. There are three things you have to do to turn young men into useful citize