In a recent UK survey and local anecdotal evidence revealed:
- 73% of employers would recruit a candidate with volunteering experience over one without
- 94% of employers believe that volunteering can add to skills
- 94% of employees who volunteered to learn new skills had benefited either by getting their first job, improving their salary, or being promoted
Why is this important?
During 8-12 April we celebrated National Student Volunteer week. In conjunction with the WILSS Student Leaders Programme, Sport Waikato identified four outstanding secondary school students doing great things in their communities. They were recognised and rewarded with a volunteer jacket for collectively gifting 750 hours of service to their communities.
This led to thinking - is this a great way to promote the value of 'volunteering'?
There was a common thread/theme when the four students were asked what they liked about volunteering:
- They felt that they learnt interesting 'stuff'
- Volunteering made them feel good - they loved what they were doing, and it was FUN
- They would continue volunteering because they enjoyed helping others and seeing the smiles on others faces when they take part
Some interesting feedback as both International and New Zealand studies have shown:
- 73% of employers (as above) said they would recruit a candidate with volunteering experience over one without
- The Sport UK survey identified a 'feel good' factor when volunteering.They also talked about it being a 'duel benefit' - the gifting of time to the community and a feeling of wellbeing to themselves.
- 46% of Waikato youth aged 12-17 volunteered and 72% would do so again (Active NZ profile)
The important take out here is current youth are volunteering more than previous generations and the skills they learn are invaluable for gaining employment. Therefore, this can be used as an incentive to encourage 12 to 17 year olds to volunteer, as well as receiving a certificate and being able to add details of their work into their CV.
The main roles the students volunteered for are as coaches, officials or team captains.