Funding sought for sector training plan

Graham Willgoss

A coalition including the Workforce Hub, Business in the Community and the Prince's Charities has applied for funding to develop the proposed training scheme for graduates and others wanting to start careers in the voluntary sector (Third Sector, 20 September).

The group is seeking funds from Basis, a Big Lottery Fund-run programme set up to improve the infrastructure of sector organisations. Plans for the training scheme are being developed under the working title Third Sector: First Choice.

Elaine Smethurst, manager of Working for a Charity at the Workforce Hub, said discussions were continuing about whether the scheme should be solely for graduates or could be open to anyone, regardless of age or educational history.

Sir Tom Shebbeare, director of the Prince's Charities, said: "Our aim is to find a way to draw to us the most able graduates and school leavers, who might be considering careers in the commercial or public sectors."

He said initial research had been carried out by an independent consultant with pro bono help from Acevo. The scheme, based on the successful Teach First model in schools, is unlikely to begin before 2008.

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