+1 on George, I dont particularly think skilled jobs should be filled with just anyone, but things like community work (steretypical "community service" jobs if you will) to improve the neighbourhood's (for those who are capable of work - I am not suggestion that a disabled person should be made to climb ladders and paint a church spire!) should give something to get something. If you have genuine reasons (full time carer, parent etc) then it should not be compulsory, but if you live on benefits, and buy GTA5 for your latest console, and your at home 'cos you can' or whilst your on job seekers, I dont see the harm in being asked to contribute to society, just to add a little value, and make the neighbourhood a better place.
Plus, it can give skills, and its something for a CV - "I did voluntary community work, decorating, gardening, general property maintenance" can get you your foot into actual jobs on the market - rather than being asked in an interview "what do your DIY skills stop at" - "erm - looking at, let alone changing a plug fuse?"
I think, if you want to do a highway based job, and the council can save money by this 'voluntary working' scheme (voluntary defined as dont be lazy, your doing it for your money kind of thing!) then they can have more money to put out there and put into apprenticeships for those who want to do the better tasks.
Again, its just my opinion, I think if you CAN work, then you shouldn't be able to sit around playing consoles doing nothing in life and aspiring to get to the next level of your favorite game, rather than sitting in a job and doing an honest days work) then you really should contribute some time to the community (again, not even 37 hours, just a few hours a week would be enough to make a difference).
Granted, putting this into practice would be the hardest part, as to what constitutes as "capable" and "available" to do the work.