NCVO’s over-50s intern pilot set for second stage

The scheme is expected to be rolled out with a larger cohort in the autumn

(Photograph: Kampus Production/Pexels)

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations’ pilot scheme to find jobs in the charity sector for experienced professionals has placed six people at major charities, the umbrella body has said. 

The Charity Interns project, which was launched last year as a six-month pilot scheme, aims to “highlight the positive impact of transferable skills from the private or public sector to the voluntary sector”, and encourage people aged over 50 to enter the charity workforce for the first time.

The pilot, which is at its midway point, is a collaboration with several major charities, including Age UK, Age International, the Alzheimer’s Society, British Heart Foundation and Disability Equality Scotland. 

The NCVO said today that its target of six people had been placed as paid interns at these organisations, following a recruitment process supported by the recruitment specialists Charity People. 

The interns are working across a range of areas in their respective charities, including fundraising, campaigning, volunteer management and member engagement. Most are working in hybrid roles, with one working in a fully remote position, the NCVO said. 

The interns were previously unsuccessful in attempts to secure jobs in the charity sector, but have decades of non-voluntary sector experience, the NCVO said. 

They come from a range of career backgrounds, including advertising, creative industries, financial services, banking and technology. 

The group includes people who were looking to switch from roles in a different sector and people who were returning to work after career breaks or time away due to caring responsibilities.

During the pilot scheme, organisers regularly meet the interns and the staff supporting them to track their progress, with the findings due to be shared with the sector after the project winds up in the spring.

Charity Interns hopes to become a standalone organisation after the pilot and plans to roll out the programme with a larger cohort in the autumn.

Maya Bhose, founder and project leader of Charity Interns, said: “The interns are enjoying their placements and are contributing, learning and gaining confidence for their professional futures in the voluntary sector. 

“We believe that this pilot not only benefits the interns, but also provides invaluable experience to line managers in our partner organisations who are leading co-generational teams – a skill in increasing demand as the UK workforce ages.”

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Age UK, said: “As a charity that works with older people, and employs many older people, we want to play our full part in helping to support the charity sector to be the best possible employer of older people. 

“The Charity Interns programme pilot is an excellent way for us to support some older workers to transfer their skills to the voluntary sector, and for us all to learn more about what we need to do as employers.”

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