It’s commonplace that volunteering is hugely beneficial for organisations and services, yet new evidence shows that it also has significant benefits for young people too. A recent research piece produced by Joy Williams from The Careers and Enterprise Company highlights the numerous benefits of volunteering for those that participate in it. Volunteering has the potential to enhance certain key skills and attributes, notably:
- Personal development;
- Work experience;
- Communication skills;
- Teamwork abilities and
- An improvement in time management and organisation
This is because volunteering is said to increase self-esteem, confidence, motivation, self-efficacy and resilience, all of which are important in getting and keeping a job. The increase in confidence is argued to have the most marked improvement in a young person.
As a young person, volunteering can support your transitions from school to employment. You’ll gain an understanding of the labour market and build upon the soft skills that employers really want from candidates. A Level student Emily Rumboldt, who participated in the National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme in the summer of 2016, said:
,,,my experience with the National Citizen Service has been, in many ways, the key to the locked door labelled “FUTURE.
Combined, all of the benefits of volunteering can give a young person an advantage over other job seekers who have not participated in these opportunities.
So how can you get involved? Examples of volunteering opportunities that students can get involved with are Vtalent, National Citizen Service (NCS), Active Citizens in School and Headstart to name a few. Headstart is a volunteering programme produced by the UK’s leading charity for building a more integrated society, The Challenge. The programme targets underrepresented groups, with the 2015/16 intake having 59% of its participants from Black and Ethnic Minority groups and 23% were in receipt of free school meals. Headstart is supported by eight successful businesses, including Bloomberg, Deloitte, Starbucks and Mitchells & Butlers. Those who volunteer for sixteen or more hours are guaranteed a job interview with one of the supporting employers. The participants are also supported through workshops, interview days, amongst others. Headstart have found evidence that volunteering has three main benefits for young people:
- Young people have greater trust, understanding and appreciation of each other’s differences, resulting in a more integrated society’
- Young people have the character and skills to succeed in life and work’
- Young people have stronger networks and a better understanding of the world of work’
Overall, volunteering has huge benefits for those that participate, especially for young people. It will help an individual to make their CV stand out from other applicants, due to the numerous skills and benefits that volunteering has. These skills all contribute to developing desired employability skills, such as teamwork, organisational and time-management. So to find out what volunteering opportunities are available to you, speak to one of your teachers at school, or explore websites such as these: