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VOLWEM Project

(Volunteering – Way to Employment)

Three CEV members - The Platform of Volunteer Centres and Organisations in SlovakiaVolunteer Development Scotland and Volunteer Centre in Usti nad Labem in Czech Republichas started a two year project (October 2012 – September 2013) under Leonardo da Vinci – Transfer of Innovation scheme. There are 5 more partners from Slovakia including Matej Bel University and four regional volunteer centres involved. Main objective of VOLWEM is to transfer two systems of work with (unemployed) volunteers from the UK and Czech republic to Slovakia in order to help them to recognize the skills gained in volunteering within the labour market and thus raise their employability.

The projects activities were as follows:

 

  • Provide Slovak volunteers with an online tool to help them enhance their prospects in seeking an employment by capturing their learning gained through their volunteer activities. The online tool – V-Skills for Employment (UK) is focused on the recognition of skills and competencies gained through volunteering – the evidence confirming the existence of these skills and competencies is collected by a volunteer himself with the support of a volunteer centre or volunteer involving organization and consequently certified by a special committee based on a college.
  • Provide professionals at labour offices and volunteer centres with a method which enables them to involve unemployed people in volunteering. This system of work called Welcome (Czech republic) is focused on volunteer centres, volunteer involving organizations, labour offices and unemployed people and its goal is to create conditions supporting the involvement of unemployed people into volunteering.
  • Make employers aware about the competencies gained through volunteering and make them recognize these skills in the process of recruitment.
  • Provide a results study of this project for institutions of formal learning, for employers, public institutions as labour offices and Ministry of Work, Family and Social Affairs in Slovakia.

 

Benefits of Volunteering for Unemployed People

 

Alžbeta Brozmanová Gregorová has worked on the final result of this project – Benefits of Volunteering for Unemployed People – VOLWEM Project . Based on the analysis of competence questionnaires and online tool D-zručnosti pre zamestnanie we can state that for unemployed people volunteering created a space for the development of specific skills, knowledge, and attitudes and thus contributed to the development of their employability

 

Through volunteering, the unemployed volunteers improved their ability to work in demanding and difficult situations, to make decisions, to handle stress, to work in team, to cooperate with others on solution of problems and conflicts. In the area of communication competences, the largest progress was documented in the area of development of the ability to participate in discussions, to express one´s own opinion, to actively listen to others and the development of presentation skills. Among the most developed competences related to employment and entrepreneurship we can mention these: time management, ability to lead other people, to orientate in a new working environment, skills related to project management, and creativity. In the area of social and personal competences, the largest progress reached thanks to volunteering was documented in ability to work in team, self-respect and self-confidence, and self-management of people. For a larger group of unemployed people, volunteering also created a space for improvements of the PC and Internet skills.

 

Other benefits prove that for unemployed people volunteering creates a space for:

 

  • the development of social contacts,
  • the change of attitude toward work and the acquirement of working habits,
  • the change in personal development and change in life and the life direction,
  • the feeling of personal satisfaction,
  • the change of views on various topics and issues,
  • the development of specific abilities and skills,
  • the development of knowledge on various target groups,
  • the change of opinions and attitudes related to various target groups,
  • the acquirement and development of specific skills related to work with various target groups,
  • the change of views on volunteering and NGOs.

 

 

46 out of 65 (more than 70 %) unemployed volunteers stated in the Competence questionnaires that they will name this experience in their CV. More than 90 % of the unemployed volunteers use or will use the experience in their personal and professional lives.

Benefits of Volunteering for Unemployed People – VOLWEM Project Publication can be found here.

 


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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.