NCVO seeks charity staff for job-swap day with government employees

Charities are asked to put forward employees for this year's Day in the Life scheme; last year, 88 per cent of voluntary sector staff said it had increased their knowledge of how government works

National Council for Voluntary Organisations
National Council for Voluntary Organisations

Charities are being asked to put staff forward to take part in the National Council for Voluntary Organisations' Day in the Life scheme, which will involve 1,000 charity staff and government employees swapping roles for a day.

The annual scheme, which first took place in 2009, has already clocked up more than 3,000 job swaps between civil servants and charity workers, with each spending up to a day in each other's organisations.

Eight government departments, including the Home Office, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Education, are putting 100 staff on the scheme. The Department for Work and Pensions has doubled its commitment this year to 200 staff.

According to the NCVO, interest is particularly high among front-line Jobcentre Plus staff.

Karl Wilding, director of policy at the NCVO, said: "This scheme provides a great opportunity for people to step into each other’s shoes for a day and learn about the challenges facing employees in another sector. Getting this sort of on-the-ground experience and making new contacts is really valuable, especially when budgets everywhere are squeezed."

In a survey of last year's participants, 88 per cent of voluntary sector staff said the initiative had increased their knowledge of how government works on a day-to-day basis.

Paul Adams, head of supplier management for civil service learning at the DWP, said: "Our people gained so much from their participation. A significant majority have since shared their learning with colleagues; equally, many will keep in touch with the organisation with which they were matched."

Charities can find out more about the scheme on the NCVO website, and should apply to be part of the scheme before 1 August.

The programme is free; each employee will be matched with a civil servant working in a similar field, and exchange days should take place by January 2015.

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