See how many teenagers could be called up for National Service from your area under Sunak’s plans

Rishi Sunak has pledged to bring back Mandatory National Service for 18-year-olds if the Conservatives win the next election.
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


Rishi Sunak has announced plans to bring back compulsory National Service which means more than 800,000 teenagers could be ordered to join the Armed Forces or carry out voluntary work - now you can check how many 18-year-olds from your area could be asked to sign up.

Under the Conservative scheme, due to be fully in place by 2029-30 if Mr Sunak wins the election, all 18-year-olds will be legally required to take up either a 12-month placement in the Armed Forces or cyber defence or give up the equivalent of one weekend a month to volunteer in their communities.

That means the first generation of teenagers to carry out National Service since 1960 will currently be aged about 13. According to population estimates, there will be about 830,000 18-year-olds in 2029 who would be compelled to join the military or carry out voluntary work.

Here you can see how many 18-year-olds could be required to carry out National Service where you live using our interactive tool. The map shows the number of youngsters eligible for National Service and the percentage of population.

Defending his plan for the return of compulsory National Service, Mr Sunak said: "This modern form of National Service will mean that young people get the skills and the opportunities that they need which is going to serve them very well in life. It’s going to foster a culture of service which is going to be incredibly powerful for making our society more cohesive and in a more uncertain and dangerous world it’s going to strengthen our country’s security and resilience.

"For all these reasons I think this is absolutely the right thing to do. Yes, it is bold, but that's the kind of leadership I offer." However, Labour leader Keir Starmer called the policy “desperate” and added that it would create a "teenage Dad’s Army".

Under the scheme around 30,000 full-time military placements will be on offer, with the vast majority of 18-year-olds expected to do the compulsory community roles instead, working with organisations such as charities, the NHS, police or fire services.