Letter in Third Sector Magazine from AVM (18 June) – Training

Whilst the cost of training courses maybe prohibitive to some voluntary organisations (Third Sector, 4 June) it is worth remembering that traditional 'training' is only one way to develop skills and knowledge and, actually, for many volunteer managers is neither the most useful nor the most cost-effective. In response to the pledge made by the Office of the Third Sector earlier this year committing £4million to the training of volunteers and volunteer managers, we have already written to them emphasising the benefits many volunteer managers have already received through non-traditional training routes such as mentoring, shadowing, peer groups, learning loops and other similar development opportunities.
Unfortunately, one of the many barriers volunteer managers face in developing their skills is not just organisations either unable or unwilling to fund training, but organisations not even allowing their volunteer managers the time to learn from their peers. It is a curious anomaly that organisations worry about the recruitment, management and retention of volunteers but are not prepared to allow their staff the time to develop these skills, especially from their peers.

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