Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Value of volunteering more than economic

15.12.2009
With rising unemployment and fewer job vacancies, the current financial crisis has seen renewed policy emphasis in both Europe and the UK on volunteering as a route to employment, according to a new report from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC.)

'The Value of Volunteering' – which features contributions from academics, representatives from the UK government, third sector organisations and volunteers themselves – outlines fresh UK government initiatives to use volunteering to help people into jobs, and offers powerful examples of how volunteering can change people's lives for the better.

It also calls for more effective use of European Social Fund to incentivise providers to offer voluntary activity as a pathway to integration especially for groups furthest from the labour market.

Liam Clements, now employed as a youth worker, explains how volunteering helped him, commenting: "I felt the whole experience turned me into a leader and a great communicator, and I'm now very optimistic." Paul Murphy is also now in full-time paid work, with the experience he gained through his voluntary work considered invaluable by his new employer.

Recent months have seen significant activity from the UK government in the area of volunteering. Between April and July 2009, 1,200 Jobseeker's Allowance claimants reaching six months of unemployment took up volunteering placements through a new national brokerage service. Additionally, the Office of the Third Sector now funds a National Talent Bank to provide volunteering opportunities for people whose work has been affected by the recession, and has created an Access to Volunteering programme to enable more people with disabilities to volunteer.

Dr Jeremy Kendall of the University of Kent points out that the value of volunteering now enjoys great recognition in both the UK and Europe - including the European Union (EU), the European Social Fund for example has long recognised voluntary activity as a positive outcome especially for disadvantaged groups. But he warns that the EU's emphasis on market-led economic growth may underplay the richness and breadth of volunteering, and that policy makers will need to keep this in mind when seeking to benefit from the EU's interest.

Concentrating on refugees as a group disadvantaged in the employment market, Dr Frances Tomlinson of London Metropolitan University argues that the value of refugee volunteering must be recognised, and that it must be properly resourced. She explains: "Even highly skilled refugees face a range of barriers to employment, and the transition from volunteering to paid work is often difficult. Resource issues aside, volunteers must be better protected by equal opportunities policies and practice, and volunteer experience should be given parity with that arising from paid work."

Speaking at the seminar 'The Value of Volunteering - Helping to build an inclusive and cohesive society', at which the report was launched, chair Tamara Flanagan of Community Service Volunteers (CSV) and the Third Sector European Network (TSEN) commented: "It is clear that, whilst good work is being done in the UK, there are concerns that some current policy approaches might limit the extent to which volunteering helps people and contributes to our society – we must find new outcomes to reward, and new ways of evaluating them."

ESRC Press Office:

Danielle Moore (Tel: 01793 413122, email: danielle.moore@esrc.ac.uk)

Jeanine Woolley (Tel: 01793 413119, email: jeanine.woolley@esrc.ac.uk)
(Out of office hours number, Tel: 07554333336)
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. This release is based on the findings from 'The Value of Volunteering' - which features contributions from academics, representatives from the UK government, third sector organisations and volunteers themselves. 'The Value of Volunteering' was funded and produced by the Economic and Social Research Council in partnership with the Third Sector European Network (TSEN) and Community Service Volunteers (CSV). The events were part of the Public Policy Seminar series, which directly addresses key issues faced by ESRC's key stakeholders in government, politics, the media, and the private and voluntary sectors. If you would like to receive a free copy of the publication please email knowledgetransfer@esrc.ac.uk

2.The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK 's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's planned total expenditure in 2009/10 is £204 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. More at http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk.

3.The Third Sector European Network Ltd. (TSEN) is a network of sub-regional, regional and national umbrella organisations as well as other regional/national organisations from the Third Sector, active in the promotion of social inclusion and active citizenship through the use of European Structural Funds as well as other EU funding. TSEN was set up in 1995 to bring together the key Third Sector organisations active in the field of EU Structural Funds in England: regional networks and national bodies such as the Industrial Common Ownership Movement (representing co-operatives and community enterprise, since superseded by Co-operatives UK) and CSV.

4. CSV (Community Service Volunteers) creates opportunities for people to take an active part in the life of their communities through volunteering, training and community action. Last year 167,064 people gave their time as volunteers through CSV. The charity trained 12, 196 people of all ages.

Danielle Moore | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
22.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers

26.06.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

New research reveals impact of seismic surveys on zooplankton

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Correct connections are crucial

26.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>