Take on volunteers and combat youth unemployment, says CIPD

A new report from the CIPD has unveiled a framework to get more employees volunteering to help combat youth unemployment.

The report, ‘Volunteering to learn: Employee development through community action‘, shows how volunteering activities can have hidden benefits for businesses if they link schemes to staff development. Not only can voluntary activity give staff new and varied opportunities to enhance their skills, but if integrated into the organisation’s wider learning and development strategy, it could have a longer term impact on organisational success.

Ruth Stuart, Learning and Development Research Adviser, said: “It’s fantastic to see such a big increase in the number of employers advocating volunteering opportunities to their employees. We welcome the trend for CSR, HR and L&D teams to work together on this. But, it’s also clear that more needs to be done, not just to maximise the developmental opportunities that volunteering offers employees, but also to ensure that what an organisation does within its CSR activity is connected to a more strategic HR and L&D agenda around growing your own workforce and building talent pipelines.

“There’s definitely an opportunity for volunteering to form part of an organisation’s wider learning and development strategy.  To support this, our research highlights the need for companies to delve further into the key skills and behaviours that volunteering can build, and considers how L&D and HR practitioners can use community action to drive development in order to achieve organisational success.”