Prime Minister launches volunteer scheme for UK workforce

The scheme will apply to every employee of a firm with more than 250 employees, and all public sector workers

Prime Minister David Cameron will grant 15 million people the chance to spend three days doing paid volunteering work under a Conservative government. 

The scheme will apply to every employee of a firm with more than 250 employees, and all public sector workers. 

Research showing that 41 percent of people would give their time to such causes prompted the plans which would amount to 360 million volunteering hours being undertaken.

The Prime Minister was keen to underline the scheme’s benefits. “This election is about building a better future for our children and grandchildren. The foundation stone of that better future is our economic security. But Conservatives know the society we build on top of that is just as important too.

“That’s why today’s announcement is a double win. It’s good for our economy, as it will help create a better, more motivated workforce. And it’s good for our society too, as it will strengthen communities and the bonds between us.”

Petra Wilton, the Chartered Management Institute’s director of strategy, added: “We welcome this new political focus on the value of volunteering. CMI research has shown that volunteering can be hugely beneficial to employees and their employers, as well as to local communities and charities. Volunteering often puts people outside of their comfort zone, gives them new working experiences and leads them to develop new management and people skills that they can bring back to their workplace. 

“However, any scheme should ensure that days off for volunteering deliver real benefit to the individual, their employer and to the organisation they volunteer for. Rather than making such time off a mandatory requirement, the scheme may be far more effective if workers are given the right to request leave for volunteering. This would better ensure that both employers and employees can be confident that it will be a mutually beneficial experience.”


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