If you are 18-21 years old and to prevent your out of work Universal Credit being sanctioned, you must, if still out of work after six months:
How can any of the above be voluntary, as not doing 1-4 means Universal Credit sanctions?
“…those still out of work after 6 months will be required to apply for an  apprenticeship, a  traineeship,  gain work-based skills or take up a  work placement in order to keep receiving benefits” [emphasis added]
Source: Centrepoint – 23rd March 2017 – ‘Invitation to tender: the impact of the Youth Obligation on disadvantaged young people’
The above is how the DWP’s new Youth Obligation Benefit Scheme is formulated and therefore none of 1-4 can ever be undertaken voluntarily, according to a benefit claimants own free-will. This coercion is especially true when 1-4 are not agreed to, as a fifth option exists for Jobcentre Work Coaches, that being explicitly mandatory forced-labour workfare or sanctions and risk of destitution if declined. Save for the back-stop option to claim means tested Hardship Payments (HP), but unlike individual’s Jobseekers Allowance, Universal Credit (UC) is a single household payment so assessments for HP will be far more complicated for young people, let alone the fact that under UC, HP is a repayable loan.
Based on the past, ‘charities’ and not-for-profits (the third sector) are highly likely to willingly and unwittingly get involved in YOBS, by pro-actively offering work placements irrespective of whether they are mandatory workfare or ‘voluntary’.
“Forced to volunteer. That is the Orwellian notion to which contemporary liberalism has sunk.”
Source: Thomas Howell – Capitalismmagazine.com
Youth Obligation (YO) time line in Scotland?, Northern Ireland?, Wales? and England?
“So for those aged 18-21 we are introducing a new Youth Obligation that says they must either earn or learn. We are also abolishing the automatic entitlement to housing benefit for 18-21 year olds”
Source: Chancellor George Osborne’s Summer Budget 2015 speech