Headlines: April 30th, 2004

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has launched a three-year programme to improve recruitment and retention of staff in the voluntary sector. It is aimed at voluntary and community sector human resource professionals and is supported by the Community Fund.The Workforce Project includes a targeted programme of activities. The Project will work in partnership with infrastructure organisations including the National Association of Councils for Voluntary Service, the conciliation service, Acas, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the Black Training and Enterprise Group and the Cranfield Trust, to ensure that employment practice in the voluntary and community sector continues to improve.

Joanna Wootten, the head of the Project at NCVO said, good employment practice has not been seen as a priority with some voluntary organisations failing to see how it would contribute to the ‘bottom line’ and a better service for their beneficiaries. Instead of being seen as a business essential it was often regarded as a fluffy extra.

“With many organisations facing recruitment and retention difficulties theProject will be well placed to offer relevant support, information and advice,” she said.

The Project will offer voluntary organisations a range of services including HR briefings and policies via the web, a programme of events on recruitment and retention, case studies, briefing sheets and publications and resource packs for trustees. Work with local infrastructure development bodies will include mapping existing HR advice provision in the voluntary sector. The Project will also work with funders to identify ways of enabling good employment practice.