Young Volunteers and Job Centres

New scheme to enhance Job Centre Plus services for young volunteers

GwirVol – the youth volunteering initiative in Wales - and Job Centre Plus have teamed up to enhance services for young jobseekers who volunteer.

GwirVol has recently carried out research into young volunteers’ experiences of seeking work through Job Centre Plus (JCP). GwirVol commissioned this research in response to feedback by young volunteers about being job seekers whilst volunteering.

The research undertook a review of the policies and guidance available regarding young people and volunteering and a series of in depth interviews with young people, a senior staff member and an advisor team from JCP.

The report explores the wide range of experiences from young people who receive support from JCP.

The key findings identified potential developments in service delivery and in advice and information, which could help young people to explore the opportunities volunteering offers while seeking employment.

As a result GwirVol and JCP have joined forces to pilot a number of suggestions made by the report including; involving young people in developing relevant training, advice and information for both staff and customers of JCP and promoting advocacy services for young job seekers. This pilot will take place in three Job Centres across Wales.

The work will also be supported by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Wales, as well as young volunteers from across the country.

Leah Doherty, Gwirvol Co-ordinator, said:

‘This has been a really interesting piece of research. Obviously it has raised some issues which we will be working to resolve, but it has also highlighted areas where there is some really good practice. We look forward to working with JCP to make this practice consistent across Wales for young people.’

Huw Thomas, Group Partnership Manager, Wales for the Department for Work and Pensions, commented:

‘We are looking forward to further developing our positive relationship with GwirVol and enhancing our current support for volunteering as part of a pathway to help young people return to work.’

Stephen Sellers, a young volunteer who took part in the project, added:

‘It’s great that JCP have listened to the young people who were involved in the research and are keen to work with us. I’m looking forward to what happens next.’

Download the GwirVol report
Download the GwirVol response

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