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Volunteering for Employability Katy Goldstraw CoMMUni Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Presentation on theme: "Volunteering for Employability Katy Goldstraw CoMMUni Manchester Metropolitan University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Volunteering for Employability Katy Goldstraw CoMMUni Manchester Metropolitan University

2 What is coMMUni? Aims: Be a gateway between MMU and the Voluntary Sector Develop a culture of Volunteering within MMU Enable the voluntary sector to access MMU’s resources To help volunteers to gain valuable new skills and add to their experience of life

3 Volunteering for employability “PUT ASIDE PRECONCEPTIONS: VOLUNTEERING IS WORK EXPERIENCE WITH THE ADDED POSSIBILITY THAT THE ACT OF CHOOSING TO BE A VOLUNTEER CAN SHOW EVEN GREATER INITIATIVE AND COMMITMENT.” MIKE KILLINGLEY, SENIOR MANAGER EXECUTIVE EDUCATION, HSBC BANK

4 “WANT TO CHANGE SOMEONE’S LIFE? THEN WHY NOT START WITH YOUR OWN?” STEVE WADE, STUDENT VOLUNTEER, UNIVERSITY OF LOUGHBOROUGH

5 Employability Skills Communication Skills Interpersonal Skills Problem Solving Team work Management & Leadership Networking Organisational Time Management

6 VOLUNTEERING FOR EMPLOYABILITY Motivations behind volunteering Qualitative benefits to volunteering Quantative benefits to volunteering

7 Motivations for Volunteering If their parents volunteer then children are more likely to volunteer, likewise if school encourages volunteering, children are more likely to volunteer. The more educated a volunteer is, the more likely they are to volunteer. Educated people are also more likely to be asked to volunteer (Wilson 2000:219). The self – employed and those with flexible work schedules are most likely to volunteer which suggests that students are an excellent group to recruit from (Wilson 2000:221).

8 Motivations for Volunteering Ellis Pane et al identifies four motivations for volunteering; psychological & altitudinal factors, social and social background issues, perceptions of community and participation and situational factors (2006:4). Trigger factors that encourage people to volunteer are; being asked, encounters and events, accessing a brokerage service, time and having a specific need ( Ellis Pane 2006:8).

9 Motivations for Volunteering People from socially excluded groups are likely to volunteer in different ways. Those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds tend to volunteer informally. People with disabilities are more likely to volunteer within disability organisations.

10 REDUCING SOCIAL EXCLUSION Volunteering can reduce social exclusion, it can combat feelings of isolation, it can boost confidence and self esteem, increase people’s skills and bring people from different backgrounds together (Smith et al 2001:4).

11 Benefits of Volunteering Volunteers are more politically active than non volunteers (Knoke in Wilson 2000:231) suggesting a positive impact on citizenship. The act of volunteering can affect a person’s perceptions of well being of self worth and making a contribution to society; “unpaid work that is taken by volunteers makes a vital contribution to family and community” (Hardhill & Baines 2003:102). Volunteering reduces anti social behaviour although research has not been able to define the reasoning for this (Wilson 2000:231).

12 Benefits of Volunteering Volunteers experience higher health benefits associated with more social ties, in terms of both physical and mental health (Wilson 2000:232). Meier and Stutzer find that “volunteers are more satisfied with the life than non-volunteers” (2004: 1) Astin 1998 states that undergraduates who volunteer are more likely to earn postgraduate degrees (in Wilson 200:233).

13 Qualitative benefits to volunteering for employability VOLUNTEERING AS WORK EXPERIENCE The boundaries have shifted between paid work, volunteering and education. Since 1997 paid work has assumed central importance in social policy and a key role has been identified for voluntary organisations in the delivery of care. Student reflections on work experience suggest that they gain communications skills, team work, organisational skills and personal development. These skills are all essential when moving into paid employment. Volunteering can combine with academic success to create a well rounded employee who has the transferable skills to move easily into employment.

14 Qualitative benefits to volunteering for employability Volunteering was also clearly linked to being an active citizen (Taylor et al 2000:23). Taylor et al identified that students felt inspired towards a career through their volunteering which allowed them to overcome their fears about the world of work, and inspired them to look for new challenges in terms of their future employment. Volunteering can “teach students a great deal about the world of work and the voluntary sector … many students welcome the opportunity to reflect upon their skills development and their role in the community” (Taylor et al 2000:32) Some students felt volunteering gave them fresh insight into their study and that volunteering had enabled them to better understand their academic course.

15 Qualitative benefits to volunteering for employability Volunteering can also provide students with the networks they need to access future employment. Careers such as advertising or conservation are extremely competitive. Volunteering can provide the experience to match academic success and can boost social capital. The networks of social ties built through volunteering can be effectively used when searching for jobs.

16 Quantitative benefits to volunteering for employability Research by the former Department for Education and Skills (DFES) states “voluntary activity can improve an individual’s ability to gain maintain or improve their employment” (Hirst 2000:iii). According to DFES research 54% of volunteers believe that volunteering experience has helped or will help them get a job and 41% of those who are now employed believe their volunteering helped them to get their current job (Hirst 2000:vi). The DFES have found particular areas when volunteering helps people; not having a driving licence, living on ones own, not having dependants and being young. They also concluded that volunteering positively improved employability when the volunteering spanned 50 hours or more, was for more than one organisation, was working with the public, involved training, involved a review of the voluntary activity, involved working as part of a team and contained a variety of experience (Hirst 2000:vii).

17 Quantitative benefits to volunteering for employability The volunteer’s motivation is also very important “those who had taken their volunteering activity for employment reasons are far more likely than others to report a positive impact” (Hirst 2000:vii). Those who volunteer for employability also were found to be less likely to return to Job seekers allowance than those that had not volunteered (Hirst 2000:ix). The DFES concluded “overall more than half of all volunteers perceive that voluntary activity has had a positive impact on their chances of finding work” (Hirst 2000:46).

18 Quantitative benefits to volunteering for employability Research done by Nottingham Council for Voluntary service (CVS) had similar findings “ for people whose eventual aim was definitely to work; doing some voluntary work did seem like a stepping point along the way … people valued the extra support and training available” (Corden & Sainsbury 2005:28)

19 The Policy Context Recommendation 18 “We recommend that all institutions should over the medium term identify opportunities to increase the extent to which programs help students to become familiar with work and help them reflect on such experience” Dearing Report Stress on need for UK educations systems to fit the new social and economic context.

20 The Policy Context “The Leitch Review believes that the UK urgently needs to raise its game and set itself a greater ambition to have a world class skills base by 2020” Leitch Review 2005

21 The Policy Context Recommendation 11 “ The opportunity to improve skills and employability is a powerful incentive for young people to volunteer. It is important to mark the contribution made by young volunteers and to recognise the skills they learn in the course of their activity” Russell Commission Report 2005

22 CONCLUSIONS: Volunteering gives the students CV the edge! Gives students the opportunity to gain experience in their chosen career. Shows a clear commitment to a Job role Develops a well rounded individual. Supports a company’s corporate social responsibility Can provide students with new skills for a job role. Can provide more flexibility than a paid role to try new experiences. Students can volunteer alongside your current job to try out a new experience. Gaps on your CV are not constructive.

23 Contact Details Katy Goldstraw

24 RESOURCES VOLUNTEERING ENGLAND Community Service Volunteers National Association of Volunteer Bureax Volunteering Database MMU Volunteering Database UK wide

25 BIBLIOGRAPHY Chinman,MJ & Wandersman, A THE BENEFITS AND COSTS OF VOLUNTEERING IN COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 1999:28:46 Corden, A & Sainsbury, R VOLUNTEERING FOR EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS Social Policy Research Unit, University of York 2005 Gaskin, K A CHOICE BLEND:WHAT VOLUNTEERS WANT FROM ORGANISATIONS AND MANAGEMENT Institute for Volunteering Research 2003 Hardill, I & Baines, S DOING ONE’S DUTY AND THE NEW ECONOMY Local Economy May 2003 Vol 18 no Hirst, A LINKS BETWEEN VOLUNTEERING AND EMPLOYABILITY Research Report RR309 Cambridge Policy Consultants DFES Meier, S & Stutzer, A IS VOLUNTEERING REWARDING IN ITSELF Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zurich 2004 Taylor, G et al THE IMPACT OF WORK BASED LEARNING ON STUDENT’S UNDERSTANDING OF CITIZENSHIP AND THEIR ROLE IN THE COMMUNITY Social Policy and Social Work Subject Centre, Higher Education Academy, Sheffield Hallam University Report Four 2000 Wilson, J VOLUNTEERING in Annual Review of Sociology :215-40


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