Headlines: April 20th, 2005

A special online training course is being launched for people who want to work in the voluntary sector. The free course will begin at the end of April as part of a pilot project run by Working For A Charity, which is part of the Workforce Development Team at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.Training will be conducted online through Roehampton University’s Virtual Learning Environment, WebCT Vista. Elaine Smethurst, from Working For A Charity said an online course was perfect for people without the time to attend a daytime course, or who did not want to spend time travelling to central London. “We suggest that participants dedicate around three hours per week for four weeks at whatever time suits them – you could log on at 3am if that is the best time for you,” she said.

The online course is the second unit in the pilot series and will cover marketing, communications, including public relations and campaigning. The first unit – a broad introduction to the voluntary sector – attracted about 20 people. Four further units that will be run later this year will cover topics including governance, employment practices and volunteers, fundraising and finance.

The NCVO Workforce Development Team was established to represent the interests of the voluntary sector in the areas of staff, volunteer and trustee training and development with the aim of improving employment practice. It also helps to raise the profile of the sector as a place to work.

Elaine Smethurst said training courses run by Working For A Charity were designed to offer information and advice to people changing careers and those returning to work as well as to new graduates on how to transfer their skills effectively into the sector and about the the challenges and management issues they would face.

Anyone wanting to register for the online course can visit the website <http://www.workingforacharity.org.uk/>