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Few recruits sign up for new voluntary civic service

The Local · 13 Jul 2011, 11:39

Published: 13 Jul 2011 11:39 GMT+02:00

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The new Federal Voluntary Service (BFD) is so far failing to attract the numbers that non-profit groups could expect under the compulsory scheme, which officially ended on July 1, daily Bild reported.

Under the old system, young Germans could opt for civilian compulsory service as an alternative to military conscription. But since both were scrapped, non-profit community groups that have come to rely on such recruits are facing severe shortfalls.

The Malteser organization, which provides emergency relief services to the German public, was expecting nearly 1,000 volunteer workers through the BFD programme. But only 98 have signed up and 13 have begun their service.

“We are struggling with the loss of Zivis (Germans who were conscripted into civic service),” spokeswoman Claudia Kaminski told Bild. “And there is a huge effort to close the gaps in our services.”

The Arbeiter Samariter Bund, which offers social and emergency relief services, averaged about 1,700 but only 50 people have volunteered for service through the new federal scheme.

Government officials have called the new service’s start a success.

Story continues below…

But Bild reported that although the BFD says 17,300 people have signed up for to volunteer, 14,300 of those are actually Zivis who extended their service.

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:04 July 13, 2011 by Englishted
This is not a surprise ,what did they expect ?.

Read the report and then this:

"Government officials have called the new service¦#39;s start a success.2

Do they really believe we are that stupid?
14:56 July 13, 2011 by Gretl
With low unemployment, only those without better prospects are going to sign up or stay in. What were they expecting? You have to game the system towards self-interest.
16:53 July 13, 2011 by parografik
I always thought the mandatory service was actually a great lesson in civic duty, and have thought this was something that more countries should have instituted. It seemed something Germans could be proud of. I was surprised to see it end.
01:49 July 14, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
This is non-sense. I say, three years mandatory service in either the armed forces or the civil service.
08:44 July 14, 2011 by strahlungsamt
Here's a dangerously Socialist/Marxist idea. Are you ready?

Pay them Salaries!!!

Guess what? With the decreasing numbers of young people (and the exponentially decreasing numbers of ambitious or educated young people) the few remaining are going to start demanding huge salaries just to get out of bed in the morning. Get used to it Germany.

Time to end the One Euro Basis Jobs.
00:29 July 15, 2011 by taiwanluthiers
I am actually going to start doing the BFD program in September (yes foreigners are also eligible to do this program). I had no idea that so few people have signed up.
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