More unemployed people could become volunteers, after an agreement between Volunteering England and Jobcentre Plus.
The agreement builds on the recommendations of the Commission on the Future of Volunteering, which proposed that more be done to reduce the barriers which some unemployed people face when volunteering.
Both organisations have committed to action to promote the value of volunteering to unemployed people and to remove artificial barriers that can prevent them taking up a volunteering opportunity. Under the terms of the agreement, both organisations will draw up an action plan and meet regularly to review progress.
Many thousands of unemployed people already volunteer with little or no difficulty. And volunteer work is part of a major package of support for people who have been unemployed for six months. However, some jobseekers face barriers which discouraged them from volunteering, including not receiving enough advice about getting benefits while volunteering.
The agreement was signed by Mike Locke, Director of Public Affairs at Volunteering England, and Matthew Nicholas, Jobcentre Plus Director of Employers and Stakeholders.
Mike Locke said: “I am very pleased to sign this agreement to promote understanding and improve communications about the opportunities of volunteering. We believe that organisations which rely on volunteers will benefit from a wider and more diverse pool of people prepared to give their time, as will the communities in which they are based.”