Why volunteering and unpaid work are not the same thing! @NCVOVolunteers

We have conversations every day with clients from Job Centre Plus, Work Programme or employment schemes about the differences between volunteering, work experience and unpaid work, so I’ve decided to put together this post to help demonstrate that despite certain providers best efforts, they are most certainly not the same!

What is the difference between volunteering, work experience and unpaid work?

Volunteering:

  • activities must be complementary, not directly replacing a paid person
  • mutually beneficial (to individual and organisation)
  • independently chosen and time is freely given
  • flexible wherever possible to suit the volunteer
  • has community or social benefit
  • is offered in not-for-profit organisations

Work experience:

  • with a wide range of organisations – business, statutory or voluntary/community
  • short period spent in a workplace, to gain experience of a work environment – usually every day for a week or two
  • fixed days and times
  • benefits an individual rather than the organisation

Unpaid Work

  • with a business
  • often a paid person’s role
  • fixed days and times
  • may not be optional, an individual may be obliged to undertake it
  • benefits the organisation rather than the individual
  • no guarantee of employment

2 thoughts on “Why volunteering and unpaid work are not the same thing! @NCVOVolunteers

    • Thanks as always. I’m getting people every day who just think that giving time to a business is voluntary work. I need to find a new word to add to your latest post 😂

      Like

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