Quantcast

Volunteering – a Pathway to Employment

Sarah Latto
Written by Sarah Latto

It is well documented that volunteering has multiple benefits, both for the volunteer themselves and for the organisations they volunteer for. One of the obvious advantages, and a common motivation for many volunteers, is professional development and employability. 80% of employers value volunteering experience on a CV or job application, and research suggests that volunteering experience makes somebody 73% more likely to be recruited.

In Shelter Scotland we also value volunteer experience when recruiting staff, and actively support the development of our volunteers with this in mind. We provide comprehensive and ongoing training opportunities for the majority of our volunteers and, if we feel they are ready, we encourage them to apply for paid posts when they arise. When volunteers lack experience or confidence completing application forms or preparing for interviews, we provide one to one coaching – completely separate from the selection process – in how to do this to a high standard.

As a result, many of our volunteers have progressed into paid roles within Shelter Scotland. 70% of our paid Helpdesk Adviser team started out as Online Chat volunteers, and we recently recruited a Hub Support volunteer to an Adviser post in our Edinburgh Community Hub.

Volunteering with Shelter Scotland does not just boost the employment prospects of those who gain employment internally. A significant number of our volunteers report that volunteering with us has made them more employable and helped them to get a job elsewhere. 63% of the volunteers who responded to our annual survey this year reported that volunteering had provided them with new skills and qualifications, and 13% said it had provided them with experience or a reference which helped them to get a job. One volunteer said:

‘This experience is priceless and I have benefited personally and professionally whilst helping in a small way towards creating a more fair and just society for everyone.’

This September we are recruiting volunteers for a number of roles, many of which provide significant training opportunities. If you are interested in volunteering with us, visit our website – www.shelterscotland.org/volunteer – or email us at volunteerscotland@shelter.org.uk. You never know, if could be the first step to your dream job!