Charities urged to get behind v

The voluntary sector should support the efforts of volunteering charity v to provide a comprehensive pool of resources for young volunteers, and the Government should recognise the importance of volunteering as a route to work, according to an independent report published today.

The Morgan Inquiry, launched in December 2007 by Baroness Morgan of Huyton to look into why young adults find it difficult to volunteer (Third Sector Online, 21 December 2007), concluded that government, business and charities all had a part to play in boosting youth involvement.

The recommendations:

• The Department of Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus should fully recognise volunteering as a legitimate job-seeking activity for those claiming benefits and a route to work for unemployed young adults.
• A recognised award scheme should be developed to acknowledge transferable skills that young adults develop through volunteering. This must be supported by government, the business community, academia and the voluntary sector.
• An accredited opt-in employee volunteering scheme should be developed to generate good practice at a corporate level and give employers and academic institutions the confidence to release individuals for a day to take part in accredited volunteering.
• The wealth of information currently available for young adults who wish to volunteer should be consolidated. The UK voluntary sector and the Government should wholeheartedly embrace and champion volunteering charity v’s attempts to create a one-stop-shop.

The inquiry, which was supported by the Scout Association and sponsored by the All-Party Parliamentary Scout Group, held four oral evidence sessions between January and May.

"A lot of our recommendations are directed at government, but we also think the third sector is not perfect at using young adults as volunteers," said Tom Wylie, a panel member and former chief executive of the National Youth Agency. "Sometimes organisations think they’re too much trouble because they’re inexperienced."

Baroness Morgan said: I hope that our recommendations will make a difference in clearing the way for young adults to make the most of volunteering. Furthermore, we hope that this report will instil a greater sense of flexibility in government, businesses, academia and the third sector in making this possible.

The Morgan Inquiry panel members:

Baroness Sally Morgan of Huyton (chair)
James Brokenshire, MP for Hornchurch (Conservative)
Andy Reed, MP for Loughborough (Labour)
Jo Swinson, MP for East Dunbartonshire (Liberal Democrat)
• Naomi Wilkinson, young volunteer and leader with the Scout Association
• Tom Wylie, former chief executive, National Youth Agency


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