Scouting for Skills

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Employers should recognise the benefit of employee volunteering and even offer staff extra leave to pursue it, according to the Scouting for Skills report by think tank Demos and supported by The Scout Association.

A triple win

The report argues that in-house volunteering programmes are a ‘triple win’, boosting employees’ skills and job satisfaction, reducing sky-high training costs for businesses and benefiting the local community.

Almost two-thirds (61%) of the employees surveyed said involvement in a volunteer programme improved performance in their regular role. Better communication (66%) was the most common benefit, followed by negotiating (45%), teamwork (43%) and leadership skills (41%). 

Businesses currently spend £40 billion per year on employee training, which is the same as the Government's budget for schools. This equates to an average of £2,500 per employee in the UK. The report puts the average cost of running an employee programme at £381.10 per year. 

Jonathan Birdwell, Head of the Citizenship Programme at Demos and author of the report, said: ''Lots of employees would like to volunteer but aren't being given the chance. We need to get businesses on board to make volunteering an everyday part of people's work life.”

Chief Commissioner Wayne Bulpitt said: “People often think volunteering is about giving up you time to help young people. My experience says it’s not about what you give up its more about the skills you gain. It you can turn you hand to running a camp for 36 Cub Scouts and making sure they have the time of their lives you have real organising skills that employers will find of use in the work place.”

 

Read the full Demos report here. 

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