Cabinet Office awards grant to Charityworks to develop sector talent

The funding will be used to increase the number of places on the graduate trainee scheme (Rachel Whale, its founder and programme director, pictured) from 30 to 100

Rachel Whale
Rachel Whale

The Cabinet Office has given a grant of £95,000 to the graduate trainee scheme Charityworks to help develop talent in the charity sector. 

The funding will go towards extending the Charityworks graduate scheme, which offers leadership training and work placements to university leavers.

Last year, 3,000 candidates applied for 30 positions on the programme, which is promoted to all UK universities.

The Cabinet Office funding will be used to increase the number of places on the Charityworks programme to 100 from September this year. It will also be extended from its base in London to include Bristol and Manchester.

Candidates begin the programme in September and spend a year on the scheme as paid graduate trainees.

Training includes studying towards a recognised leadership qualification, accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management, which allows graduates to go into charities and quickly take on more responsibility, Charityworks said.

There is also a full-time charity placement on the programme and the employer can offer the trainee a job at the end of the placement, although this is not guaranteed.

Placements are with a number of Charityworks partner organisations, including the Terrence Higgins Trust, the local infrastructure body Navca and Action on Hearing Loss.  

Charityworks has also published research showing that one in three charity leaders thinks talent is the most important ingredient for their organisation’s success.

But the survey of 50 charity leaders, carried out last month, found that 81 per cent of respondents felt their organisations did not prioritise talent highly enough.

Two-thirds of charity budgets for recruiting new people into the charity sector were stagnant or falling in 2014, respondents told the survey.

Charityworks said a majority of respondents, who included members of senior management teams and department heads, labelled talent development as the "Achilles heel" of the charity sector.

It said it defined talent as "brilliant people" with both potential and natural ability, rather than people with experience.

"Our research shows that eight in 10 leaders believe they have a shared responsibility to develop sector talent," said Rachel Whale, founder and programme director of Charityworks. "I believe that as a sector we need to get better at recruiting new talent and developing the excellent people already in the sector."

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