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  1. Working in the UK voluntary sector David Henderson Careers Adviser

  2. Contents • What is the voluntary sector? • Graduate job market • Career opportunities • Internships and work experience • Finding employment • What are voluntary agencies looking for? • Your questions • Career Focus -

  3. What is the voluntary sector? • Also known as the charity, third, not-for-profit and civil sector • Not simply defined and encompasses a wide variety of organisations: Museums & Galleries Think tanks Trade Unions Professional & Trade Associations Housing Associations Trusts Education institutions Research groups • Sector most commonly associated with ‘charities’ • Can be applied to any organisation that is non-governmental and non-profit

  4. National Council for Voluntary Organisations “ An independent, self-governing body of people who have joined together voluntarily to take action for the benefit of the community. A voluntary organisation may employ paid staff or volunteers, but must be established otherwise than for financial gain.”

  5. What is the voluntary sector? Cause driven: • business and professional, e.g. FSA, Royal Pharmaceutical Society; • civil rights, citizenship and law and order; e.g. Amnesty International, Citizens Advice Bureau • conservation and protection, e.g. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB); • culture, sport and recreation, e.g. Arts Council; • education, training and research, e.g. Civitas, Sutton Trust • health and medical, e.g. Royal Mencap Society, Wellcome Trust; • housing and community affairs, e.g. Shelter; • international activities, e.g. Disasters Emergency Committee; • philanthropic intermediation, e.g. Comic Relief; • religion, e.g. Salvation Army, Christian Aid; • social services and relief, e.g. Help the Aged, Barnardo’s

  6. Voluntary sector – growing/dynamic • 1 in 50 employees work in the voluntary sector • Paid workforce in excess of 600,000 in ‘general’ charities • Approximately 170,000 charities (98,000 in 1991) • Growth of public sector/voluntary partnerships

  7. The political context • Previous government placed considerable emphasis on role of the Third Sector; partnership between government and Third Sector agreed in ‘The Compact’. - Commission for the Compact - Compact Voice • Coalition Government advocate greater use of Third Sector organisations in delivery of public services. ‘The Big Society’: opportunities for charities (Localism Bill)? • Impact of spending review on charities funded by central and local government (62% of charities receive income from public sector contracts) • Charities Act 2006 – more supportive legal and regulatory framework; greater scope for campaigning activity in the broadcast media

  8. Voluntary sector – opportunities for graduates • Despite growth still challenging to find employment (approximately 2% of UK workforce) • Paucity of graduate schemes; majority recruit in to specific roles • Graduate schemes that are available tend to have a management focus • Internships are available but often unpaid although subsistence and training offered • International development and environment sectors particularly challenging to get into

  9. Voluntary sector – opportunities for graduates • Volunteering important; often necessary to secure a voluntary sector internship! • Value of other skills and experiences – specific roles within the voluntary sector require appropriate professional and technical expertise • Charities find it harder to recruit in areas such as fundraising, social care, youth work and health care • 54% of voluntary sector employees involved in social work activities • 32% of voluntary sector employees employed in work places with less than ten employees (25% private sector, 8% public sector) • Skills shortages in functions like marketing and fundraising but also in broader areas such as technology, leadership and law Source: HECSU

  10. What are the career opportunities? • Large charities • Competitive salary • Professional development • Small charities • wider remit and responsibility • less competitive salary, less job security, part-time and short-term contracts

  11. What are the career opportunities? • External focus marketing, fundraising, campaigning, policy, public relations • Internal focus finance, HR, IT, volunteer management, administration • Operational/Services • Strategic/Managerial

  12. What are the career opportunities? Volunteer Management • Co-ordinating the recruitment of volunteers • Implementation of appropriate training for volunteers • Management, support and supervision • Charity Fundraising • Combining commercial enterprise with a commitment to the cause • Development of fundraising strategies – corporate and community support • Competitive marketplace – target focused •

  13. What are the career opportunities? Policy and research • Number of opportunities small, particularly in comparison to frontline service delivery roles • Opportunity to apply analytical research skills; postgraduate study highly relevant • Engage in opinion/market research (surveys/focus groups); formulating public policy positions, policy development • Internships/volunteering route in; also consider research/policy assistant roles • Campaigning • Outreach work – schools, universities, communities • Lobbying, mobilising support, facilitating action • Information provision • Limited opportunities; legal restrictions e.g. Make Poverty History’s ‘one click’ campaign

  14. Person Specification – Policy Assistant (Family Rights Group) Salary: 30k Qualifications and Experience • You will be a graduate with experience of research methodologies. • Anti-discriminatory PracticeBe able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the way in which discrimination impacts on different minority ethnic families and on men and women as parents. Be able to apply this knowledge to developing anti-discriminatory policies and practice in relation to project work, policy development and training • Policy developmentBe able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding current legislation, policy and practice in promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children. Be able to apply this knowledge and understanding to respond to issues as they emerge, and produce policy briefings and draft recommendations as required. • Research skillsProven research and analysis skills. To be able to extract and summarise relevant information Have excellent numerical skills. • Communication skillsBe able to communicate clearly both verbally and in writing. Be able to develop positive relationships with people from a range of organisations and backgrounds. Be able to provide clear and concise written reports for a variety of audiences. Be able to represent Family Rights Group by talking about the organisation’s work to a variety of audiences. • Self-Management and flexibilityBe able to organise your own work, keep to deadlines and negotiate competing priorities. To be able to be flexible, to address the needs of the organisation • ITHave excellent IT skills (including powerpoint and excel) and a willingness to develop these as required by the post. Knowledge and experience of using SPSS desirable. Other requirements • Be able to stay away from home overnight occasionally and to be available for some early and late evenings Have an understanding of and commitment to Family Rights Group’s aims.

  15. What are the career opportunities? Marketing and communications • Critical role in raising the profile of an organisation and conveying key messages • Establishing contacts within the media; securing exposure for organisation • Event management opportunities; direct marketing and promotion • Newsletters, information resources, online material • / Frontline services • Roles involving direct work with clients (individuals and groups) • Professional career pathways e.g. youth work, social work, community development, advice work, health care, counselling, advocacy • Opportunities to work in assistant and support roles • /

  16. Person Specification – Victim Support Job Title: Homicide Support Worker (17-19K) Department: Operations ___________________________________________________________________ Experience: • Developing and maintaining administrative systems (s) • Working in an office environment involving substantial contact with people outside of the organisation • Voluntary sector or support agency environment • Handling sensitive telephone calls (or other communications) confidentially, efficiently and effectively (s) Knowledge: • How bereavement and violent crime impacts on people • Understanding the sensitivity required to provide a support service to people bereaved following violence • Principles of confidentiality including data protection • Office systems and procedures (s) Skills and abilities: • Communicate effectively - verbally and in written form (s) • Use generic IT applications - Microsoft Office (s) • Gather, analyse and use information and evidence from different sources (s) • Balance competing needs and interests • Promote an organisation’s interests and values • Build and sustain relationships • Solve problems

  17. What are the career opportunities? Regulation and infrastructure • Opportunities with Cabinet Office, Communities and Local Government (Big Society), Charity Commission, Charities Trust, NCVO, volunteer bureaus (Volunteer England, CSV) and regional councils for voluntary organisations (Durham City District CVS) • Opportunities to develop, promote and improve the work of voluntary organisations • Build partnerships and networks; dissemination of information e.g. policy consultations Management and Administration • Project and service delivery management • Roles varied and might include project evaluation, financial management, strategic development, facilitating front-line services, marketing and communication • Corporate functions (HR, IT, Finance, Procurement, Logistics, Business Development, Sales)

  18. Is work experience essential? • Very competitive; workforce strongly represented by graduates • Requirement in some cases • Develop understanding of the sector and career opportunities • Skills development • Access internal job market; particularly valuable in smaller organisations • Voluntary internships ‘can’ lead to short-term employment posts e.g. 50% of Oxfam’s 100 annual unpaid interns offered paid jobs • Networks and contacts But... • Not absolutely essential if you meet the skills and experience requirements of the job, particularly in respect of management and administrative positions • Not unusual for people to transfer into the sector having developed professional experience in private or public sectors

  19. Internships • Internships not always consistent: paid or unpaid, long or short-term, level of responsibility • Consider what you want to gain from the experience e.g. broad experience of a voluntary organisation or specific involvement in a project/role (e.g. policy research, marketing, frontline delivery etc) • Type of charity (e.g. development, environment, health, education etc) • Domestic and international opportunities • Many larger charities offer structured internship programmes: • Amnesty • ATD • Christian Aid • Merlin • Oxfam • Opportunities also available in ‘other’ organisations with charitable status e.g. think tanks such as IPPR, Civitas, Chatham House (3 month internship), charitable trusts - Nuffield Foundation, independent research groups - Institute of Employment Studies • Structured experience programmes offered by volunteering charities • CSV (4-12 month projects) • Sabbatical posts with DUCK

  20. Internships - International Development Organised programmes • Student Partnerships Worldwide ( • Development in Action ( • VSO ( • Platform 2 ( • Year out groups (e.g. Frontier) • People and Planet (11 month paid internship; recruitment begins April/May) UK NGOs • Opportunities in the UK but less likely to offer placements overseas • Merlin – 6 month UK internship with ‘option’ of 4 month field placement overseas • Amnesty International – 3 month volunteer placement in London, Belfast, Edinburgh, Cardiff International NGOs • Arrange experience directly with NGOs – World Service Enquiry volunteering guide University of Sussex - University of London -

  21. Internships – where do I look? Advertised opportunities • Organisation websites • Charity jobsites • • • • Volunteering databases • • Sector specific resources • Development (,,,,, ) • Environment (,, • Housing and social welfare (, • Political & Social Research ( Speculative opportunities Utilise charity databases ( /

  22. Barnardo’s internship scheme • 3 month programme • Placements in a number of areas including • Fundraising and Marketing • Volunteer Development • Policy, Parliamentary and Campaigns • Brand and New Media • Programme runs 3 times per year

  23. Internships at Oxfam • ECB Project Support Intern • Corporate Relationship Assistant • Production Print Assistant • Outreach Support Executive • Information and Communications Assistant • Sponsored Events Marketing Assistant • Oxjam Recruitment Executive • Oxjam Marketing Executive • Oxjam Communications Executive • Internship and Volunteering Advisor • Supply & Logistics Cost Effectiveness Project Assistant • Marketing Intelligence Executive • Assistant Bookshop Manager • Assistant Shop Manager (Enfield)

  24. Graduate schemes • Limited but opportunities do exist, particularly as the sector is not easily defined • Opportunities that do exist tend to have a strong management focus • Occasionally organisations will advertise graduate trainee opportunities • Graduate Schemes • Cancer Research UK – opens Nov 2011; 7 positions last year but offered other jobs to exceptional candidates ( Internship scheme also offered. • NSPCC, Oxfam & Barnardo’s have offered schemes in the past and do recruit graduates into specific posts • Forum for the Future – six placements linked to sustainability; closes Feb 2011 ( • Charity Works – placement based programme ( • National Skills Academy for Social Care – management scheme in social care sector ( • Housing Associations • Great Places Housing Group ( • Look Ahead Housing and Social Care ( • Working for a Charity– Foundation course ( Online course

  25. IntoUniversity Graduate Trainee Education Workers The applicant must: • Have completed an undergraduate degree by August 16th 2010 • Have some experience (voluntary or paid) of working with children or young people • Be self-motivated with a positive and enthusiastic personality and able to work well as part of a small team • Be able to work effectively under pressure and meet deadlines, prioritise tasks, carry out effective planning, and undertake monitoring and evaluation • Be able to effectively motivate and interact with children and young people • Be able to plan, organise and deliver activities for children and young people (with full support), taking into account their pastoral and academic needs • Be able to acquire and apply knowledge of further and higher education procedures (eg UCAS applications) to help young people make decisions about their futures • Be ambitious to enhance their professional development, and to learn about the charity sector and project delivery • Be able to demonstrate flexibility and commitment to taking a full and active part in the life of IntoUniversity • Have excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to write reports, plan workshops and prepare educational materials • Be highly computer literate and conversant with Microsoft Word, Excel, etc. APPLICATION: By application form only; CVs are not an acceptable alternative. Closing date 22nd March 2010, 9am; selection process March 29th or April 1st 2009. Please do not apply for these posts if you are not available on at least one of these dates. PAY SCALE: £18,000 - £20,000 per annum

  26. Finding jobs in the voluntary sector • Volunteering? • Regional networks e.g. Regional Youth Work Unit – offer vacancy emailing service ( • Fairs and recruitment events e.g. Forum3 ( • Newsletters • Third sector press e.g. Third Sector magazine ( • Sector specific recruitment consultancies e.g. ProspectUs (, TPP (, Harris Hill (, Morgan Hunt ( • Speculative applications – accessing hidden job market • Target entry level positions – particularly important if you are organisation/sector focused

  27. Finding jobs in the voluntary sector – key job resources • Guardian Jobs: / • Jobs in Charities: • Voluntary Sector Jobs: • Charity Job: • Charity People: • Charity Sector Jobs: • Not for profit Jobs: • People Unlimited: • Good Moves: • Working for a Charity: • UK Work Force Hub: Top Tip! Try a key word search under ‘graduate’

  28. Finding jobs in the voluntary sector – specific resources What is your specific interest: cause (e.g. health), role (e.g. support worker), function (e.g. communications), sector (e.g. development) Role: Social/Policy research Professional bodies/representative organisations Social Research Association ( Association of Qualitative Research ( Directories/Resource databases Intute ( Eldis ( Jobsites

  29. What are voluntary organisations looking for? • Specific professional/technical skills and experience • Education – relevance of degree/postgraduate study • Commitment to the sector/cause • Volunteering • Internships • Interest in, and understanding of, aims and values of organisation • Focus – not enough just to want to work in this sector

  30. Effectively marketing yourself Academic • Subject specific knowledge • Relevance of dissertation • Applied research skills • Critical thinking Other • Relevant experience • Transferable skills (employment, volunteering, extra-curricular activities) • Professional qualifications Tools with which to market yourself: • Strong, focused CV/Cover letter • Effective application forms • Interview technique • Proactive networking

  31. Useful resources Do More - Work for a Charity - National Council for Voluntary Organisations - Volresource - Third Sector Careers Centre • Careers folders specific to voluntary sector and overseas development • Reference resources e.g. WSE monthly jobs bulletin, Charities Digest, International Development Directory, Guardian Guide to Volunteering

  32. Questions?