At the last count in 2000, there were almost 563,000 people in the voluntary-sector workforce. In addition to these paid employees, the Institute of Volunteering Research estimates that 22 million adults take part in formal volunteering each year, contributing the equivalent of £15.4 billion to the sector in 2001. With this army of talented individuals, a new web site from the Voluntary Sector National Training Organisation (VSNTO) should be the key to making the most of the people in this area.
The VSNTO was set up in 1997 to promote the voluntary sector as an occupational sector and to act as a skills council. The site's role is to be an interactive resource for development and training issues in the area. However, there are a few hitches that undermine its claim to be the right place for news on workplace skills development.
A lumbering site construction means that you could click backwards and forwards for hours as you to try to find that crucial piece of information since some of it is so well-hidden from anyone who might try to find it.
No-one doubts that the charity sector is vibrant and innovative, and the aims of the VSNTO to reflect that are praiseworthy. But it seems a wasted opportunity that the overall tone of the site is so lacking in dynamism.