World of cardigan wearers no more

The not-for-profit sector is shaking off its dowdy "cardigan brigade" image, with six out of 10 private sector workers saying the sector offers strong career prospects.

This is according to research commissioned by the organisers of forum3, a recruitment event held for the non-profit sector.

If pay in the sector were equal to that in the commercial world, 90 per cent of the respondents would consider a career in the sector. But low pay puts off 70 per cent.

The email survey polled 800 commercial sector employees working in a range of roles. Half of those surveyed said high-profile fundraising for the London bombings and Boxing Day tsunami - and campaigning for Live8 - had made them consider working in charity.

Three-quarters saw charities as the "sexiest" part of the non-profit sector, compared with just 3 per cent tempted by housing associations.

Deborah Hockham, project director for forum3, said: "It's encouraging to see that the not-for-profit sector is finally losing its cardigan brigade label and being seen as a sector that can offer strong career prospects."

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