‘Industry Conscripts’ Scheme Proposed

‘Industry Conscripts’ Scheme Proposed‘Industry Conscripts’ Scheme Proposed

A new plan to facilitate military service for accomplished draftees envisages recruiting them in different professional sectors instead of being stationed in military facilities.

Iran’s Chamber of Commerce is working on a scheme titled “Industry Conscripts” which will soon be submitted to the Interior Ministry and the Law Enforcement Forces for approval.

The plan involves employing accomplished conscripts in the manufacturing sector after the 45-day mandatory stint in military training, according to Mehr News Agency.

The idea was initially proposed by the Majlis (parliament) Production and Employment Faction to help university graduates gain some experience before entering the labor market.

Gholamreza Kateb, the former chief of the faction had earlier said the initiative would provide an opportunity for young graduates to learn practical skills. It would also contribute effectively to business and industry.

“Around 90% of university graduates lack the required abilities to enter the labor market and the Industry Conscript scheme can help provide a solution to this problem,” he had said.

The plan, however, is not altogether new as a similar idea had been presented in 2005 by the Ministry of Industries, Mines and Trade under the title “Industry Army”. The first phase of the project achieved great success with around 500 youth doing their military service in the manufacturing sector, but for unknown reasons, it was dropped before the second phase began.  

Other facilities have also been envisioned for conscripts that would allow them to serve knowledge-based organizations as part of their mandatory military service.

Mohammad Sahebkar Khorasani, in charge of knowledge-based institute affairs in the Office of the Vice Presidency of Science and Technology, had told media outlets that 121 draftees have so far had the opportunity.

“If young talent cannot cooperate with knowledge-based institutes due to the legal requirement of serving in military bases, it would be a disadvantage for both the conscripts as well as the organizations,” he said, adding that if the scheme is approved it will be beneficial for both sides.

Military service for men, which starts at the age of 18, is mandatory in Iran. The duration is normally 24 months but it can vary under special circumstances.

There are exceptions for those who cannot serve because of physical or mental health problems or disabilities. Students are exempt as long as they are in school or university.

Since 2008 w+ith the establishment of Iran’s National Elites Foundation, students or university graduates who are accepted as its members (because of their special achievements e.g. recognized researchers with proven accomplishments, national and international Olympiad medalists and winners of inventions in competitions) can opt for scientific research in lieu of military service. The 45-day mandatory military training is however applicable even for the elite members.