Volunteering a step towards employment
With youth unemployment hitting a record of around 1.6 million, queues outside job centre are increasing and university graduates are leaving with fewer prospects of finding their ultimate dream jobs.
The prime minister’s new initiative to get approx 500,000 work experience, internship or apprenticeship placements for the unemployed 18-24s in 2015 is in debate, some are feeling skeptical about the proposal whether companies would hire.
Well the question is what shall young people do in the meantime, sit at home and be bored or consider other ways to gain experience, skills without a salary to start with.
Volunteering is considered one of the the best aids for job hunters, employers look for people who have gained new skills, experiences in working for charities, organisations, social enterprises because it shows real initiative and entrepreneurial flair.
There are lots of voluntary opportunities out there in the UK and international - see i-volunteer's opportunities page for some inspiration.
Volunteering is for everyone - people of any age can contribute as little or as much as they like to their local communities, boroughs, internationally by taking on any volunteer role they suit.
If you are 18 and have decided to take a gap year, then travelling abroad and working for a charity is great experience, even volunteering in the UK is fantastic as there are many organisations just waiting for new hands to help out.
My top five tips for finding volunteering work that suits your needs:
- Research any organisations in your area that you would like to volunteer for that you think you would help you with your specialized career choice. You can start by searching for charities and groups on i-volunteer, just add in your location and make contact with those you like the look of;
- If you are in full time education and looking for some general voluntary experience over the weekend, contact local charity/fundraising shops, which are sure to increase your employment prospects.
- If you are travelling abroad why not find any opportunities or projects that you find meets your needs/interests in that country.
- If you are a sporty person, there are many marathons for charities you could fundraise, sponsor for, hiking challenges, bike rides, canoe trips, triathlons etc.
- If you like to stay in one place in a company industry, firm or organisation, (creative or academic) there are many flexible voluntary roles within the public sectors available such as fundraising, ,marketing, advertising, admin, web design, finance, accounting, drama, dance, music, filming, writing, painting, mentoring, assistant teacher, youth worker etc.
So if you want to try something new, want to put your hobby or interest into practice, meet new people, gain practical working experience, something great to add to CV then give volunteering a go.