Title Volunteering - Way to Employment
Project Number 2012-1-SK1-LEO05-04204
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text Volunteering – Way to Employment (Volwem) was a project lead by eight partners – volunteer development and volunteer service organisations from Slovakia, United Kingdom and Czech Republic. Main objectives of Volwem were to transfer two systems of work with (unemployed) volunteers from the UK and Czech republic to Slovakia in order to help them to bring and recognize the skills gained in volunteering on a labour market.
Volunteering is in EU countries with a longer history and tradition of volunteering generally recognized not only as a leisure time activity, but also a way to achieve new skills and competencies that are recognized by employers. In Slovakia, the situation has been quite different - there was no system for recognition and validation of non-formal education by colleges or universities (as in UK or other countries) because we have been lacking the legal framework for it and there has been a low recognition of benefits of volunteering by employers in Slovakia. Also the volunteer centres (VC) were lacking the skills and systems necessary for the work with unemployed volunteers. These were the reasons for the project implementation.
Main objectives were:
1. To provide especially unemployed volunteers with a tool (V – skills) they can use for understanding and using the competencies they gained through volunteering at the labour market and in such a way to improve their position and competitiveness when applying for a job.
2. To provide unemployed volunteers, professionals at labour offices and volunteer centres with methods (project Welcome from CZ) which enable them to involve unemployed people in volunteering. To help unemployed people to get a job and make them active through volunteering.
3. To make employers aware about the competencies gained through volunteering and the tool (V-skills) that can prove the existence of these skills and competencies and to make them recognize these skills in the process of the recruitment.
4. To provide a results study of this project for institution of formal learning as well as for employers, public institutions as labour offices and Ministry of Work. Provide a methodology for labour offices on how to support and motivate unemployed people for volunteering.
The project was implemented by the consortium formed by the University of Matej Bel in Banska Bystrica, the Centre of Volunteering in Banska Bystrica and three other VCs in Presov, Kosice, and Nitra. The project will be coordinated by the Platform of Volunteer Centres and Organizations - umbrella organization focused on development of volunteering in Slovakia.
The outcomes of the project included: transfer of the system of V-Skills from Scotland, its adaptation to Slovak conditions - we have created a tool for volunteers to verify the skills they gained through volunteering and to make them recognized in an objective process which is available through web and managed by volunteers themselves; transfer and adaptation of method focused on labour offices and volunteer centres which have made volunteer centres able to work more efficiently with unemployed people and labour offices aware of benefits of volunteering for unemployed people and ready to motivate them for such activity. Volunteer centres have cooperated with employers in their regions in order to recognise benefits of volunteering for capacity building and future employment.
The project was lead by consortium of 8 partners volunteer development and volunteer service organisations in Slovakia, Czech republic and United Kingdom. The project brought two systems of work with unemployed volunteers to Slovakia that are mutually complementing each other. The online tool for volunteers - V-Skills for Employment is focused on the recognition of skills and competencies gained through volunteering - the evidence confirming the existence of these skills and competencies is collected by a volunteer himself with the support of a volunteer centre or volunteer involving organization and consequently certified by a special committee based on a college. The V-skills (UK) were complemented by the system of work called "Welcome!" (Czech republic) focused on volunteer centres, volunteer involving organizations, labour offices and unemployed (or job-seekers) people in order to create conditions supporting the involvement of unemployed people into volunteering and to develop the awareness related to the usefulness/transferability of skills gained through volunteering into the world of work. The added value lies in the combination of these two products. As the V-skills lacks (or better to say does not emphasize) the work with labour offices the methodics "Welcome!" does not work with recognition and transferability of skills. By the results of the project partners we have made employers, unemployed volunteers and formal educational organisations aware about the competencies gained through volunteering. At the end of the project partners have provided a results study of this project for institutions of formal learning as well as for employers, public institutions as labour offices and Ministry of Work in Slovakia.
The projects activities were as follows:
• We have provided volunteers with a online tool to help them enhance their prospects in seeking employment/a job by capturing their learning through their volunteer activities.
• We have provided professionals at labour offices and volunteer centres with a method which enables them to involve unemployed people in volunteering.
• We have made employers aware about the competencies gained through volunteering and made them recognize these skills in the process of the recruitment.
• We have provided a results study of this project for institutions of formal learning as well as for employers, public institutions as labour offices and Ministry of Work.
Recognition, transparency, certification
Access for disadvantaged
Utilization and distribution of results
Open and distance learning
Administrative and Support Service Activities
Human Health and Social Work Activities
Information and Communication
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
transparency and certification
program or curricula
The product "V-skills for Employment" -" D-zručnosti pre zamestnanie" is based on the assessment of evidence generated from volunteering experience with the support of online resource centre and a volunteer centre or a volunteer involving organization. This experience (evidence of skills and competencies) is than presented to a certification committee at Matej Bel University in Slovakia which awards (or does not award) a certificate to a volunteer which is based on the recognition of experience gained through volunteering.
"Welcome!"- "Skuste to inak" methodics is focused on the approaches and cooperation of volunteer centres and volunteer involving organizations with labour offices, and at the same time will help the volunteer centres and volunteer involving organisations to learn how to work with unemployed volunteers more effectively. The work with this target group is very specific, it needs more intensive facilitation/coordination, training and supervision. In order to involve unemployed people into volunteering, volunteer centres need to cooperate with NGOs, which will involve these volunteers into their activities, more closely and efficiently.