OU course will help people to get the most out of volunteering
The Open University and Young Enterprise, the UK’s leading education charity for budding young business minds, today joined forces to launch Learning by Volunteering - a new course for volunteers, designed to help them make the most of their volunteering experience by transferring the new skills they develop back into the workplace.
Every year Young Enterprise brings together more than 300,000 young people aged four to 24 with 4,500 UK business volunteers to learn from their first hand knowledge and experience about business and entrepreneurship.
The 30 hour Open University course will help volunteers to get the most out of the volunteering experience. They will learn to understand the educational context which they will be operating in, recognise the value of planning and project management, manage interpersonal relationships effectively, encourage entrepreneurial spirit and use appropriate skills to lead and evaluate performance.
Francis Cattermole, of The Open University said: “Learning by Volunteering aims to strengthen the work Young Enterprise is doing to recognise employee development. By formalising the link between skills development and volunteering, businesses can better realise this potential wealth of experience. Training and development in the 21st century needs this additional dimension. It needs to develop skills but at the same time encourage self worth and fulfilment.”
John May, CEO of Young Enterprise UK, welcomes the new course. He said: “‘Skills based volunteering’ is the new training. It facilitates staff development, boosts staff retention and empowers staff to take on new challenges and to bring an innovative perspective to the business. We’ve seen an increased interest in volunteering as more businesses see the value in enabling staff to volunteer. Many of the companies we work with say that staff retention is has improved significantly as a result. The launch of Learning by Volunteering will formalise the learning experience and give businesses a tangible benefit for encouraging staff to volunteer.”
• The course consists of 10 hours of study, 10 hours of reflection and 10 hours of related activities which have been designed to be worked on in conjunction with the volunteering activity.