Headlines: July 14th, 2005

The Workforce Hub, one of the six national hubs of expertise under the Government’s ChangeUp programme, has received funding to carry out its business plan to develop the skills and good employment practice in the community and voluntary sector. As an immediate result the Hub will begin recruiting additional staff this week.The announcement of funding came in a letter from the Home Office’s Active Communities Directorate. The money will fund the Hub’s activities for two years. The Hub, promotes and supports skills development and good practice to aid recruitment, retention and development of staff, volunteers and trustees and builds on the work of the former Voluntary Sector National Training Organisation.

It will now work to ensure voluntary and community organisations have easy access to information and resources and support a culture of learning and development. It will also promote good management, leadership and employment practice and raise the profile of the sector as an area in which to work.

The Hub will continue to be the standards setting body for the sector and staff are developing National Occupational Standards for Trustees and Management Committee members and a Qualifications Strategy for the sector. They are also working on a guide to encourage newcomers to work in the voluntary and community sector and collaborating with infrastructure organisations to develop skills and promote good employment practice.

Mark Freeman, Workforce Development Manager for COVER – The Community and Voluntary Forum Eastern Region, said the Workforce Hub represented an opportunity for the sector to develop all the issues around skills, employment and recruitment that were vital to its continued growth and improvement. “Its ability to link the work being carried out regionally and locally will help to spread good practice, and enable us to gather much needed intelligence to highlight the sectors needs and quantify its impact on the economy and the communities in which it works,” he added.