The Duke of Edinburgh’s award “most recognised” voluntary qualification

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is the most recognised programme for a candidate to demonstrate their voluntary experience during a recruitment process, according to the findings of a CIPD survey of UK HR professionals.

According to the survey, over a quarter of UK employers will prioritise the DofE Award when assessing applications, over similarly recognised voluntary programmes.

Volunteering in general is a key aspect of an application: two thirds of the UK companies surveyed said that entry-level candidates with voluntary experience are more employable than those do not.

Over three-quarters of respondents said that voluntary qualifications demonstrate teamwork and communication, whilst also identifying time management, multi-tasking, adaptability and leadership as key skills.

Despite these results, not enough employers are actively seeking voluntary experience according to the DofE and they are calling on employers to recognise and value the skills that candidates with the qualification can bring.

Peter Westgarth, chief executive of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, commented: “Whilst we’re hugely encouraged that a significant number of UK employers recognise the important employability skills and attributes DofE Award achievers have demonstrated, we still have work to do to inform employers about the amazing achievements a DofE Award represents.

We want every UK employer to understand the value of a DofE Award on an applicant’s CV and make the commitment to look out for young recruits with a DofE Award because they value the experience they have gained and recognise that their efforts make them great employees.”

Managing director at British Gas, one of the firms that have signed to support the DofE promotion for business, Ian Peters, explained, “in doing the DofE they [young people] develop the skills we look for in our future employees… I’d encourage employers to recognise the valuable skills and attributes of DofE Award holders.”

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, concluded: “it’s great that these employers recognise the value of a programme that clearly gives those who participate, a broad range of opportunities to develop and strengthen their skills, many of which can be of value in the workplace.”