New volunteering scheme targets companies making staff cuts

National Talent Bank is backed by Business in the Community and TimeBank

The Government is to launch a one-year scheme to encourage employers that are cutting their employee's working hours to match their staff with volunteering placements.

The National Talent Bank will be funded by the Office of the Third Sector and run by government advisory body the Council on Social Action, business membership charity Business in the Community and volunteering charity TimeBank.

It will target businesses that are releasing employees for fixed periods, reducing the working week, deferring the start dates for new recruits or retaining staff whose posts have been made redundant.

The employees will be matched with volunteering opportunities on environmental projects and projects supporting young people.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said it had not yet been decided how much would be spent on the scheme or how many volunteers it would aim to place.

Tessa Jowell, minister for the Cabinet Office, said: "Volunteering doesn't only help disadvantaged groups and communities; it also gives valuable skills to the volunteers, helping them to gain confidence and expand their own CVs.

"The National Talent Bank is a great way to build relationships between charities, private companies and the public sector."

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