I raised a question at the recent Westminster Briefing concerning the funding of training for volunteer managers.Â Comparing the Â£4m intended to cover training for both volunteers and volunteer managers (VMs) with the amount allocated to v; I asked whether the funding for training was adequate especially as politicians and society have such high expectations of the voluntary sector.
Your answer, quite rightly stated that Â£4m is a considerable sum although everyone would like it to be more.Â You went on to say that Train to Gain is a demand led funding stream that could yield hundreds of millions in funded training to the sector.
Cancer Research UK, the charity I work for, already accesses some T2G funding and some European funding for the provision of retail related NVQs for shop volunteers and shop managers.Â I am unaware of any provision for training in volunteer management even at a basic level.Â The main obstacle to accessing T2G funding for volunteer management training is that a very high proportion of volunteer managers have more than level 2 qualifications indeed degree standard is the normal level of academic education for people who manage volunteers or volunteer programs.Â Most roles in volunteering seem to ask for applicants to be "educated to degree standard".Â The fact that many VMs will have been educated beyond level 2 does not mean that they automatically have the skills required to manage volunteers.
Volunteer management is an underappreciated and under recognised profession struggling to establish itself as a group with a separate and unique skill set.Â If we are to make inroads into the objectives being set for volunteers to achieve, the people who recruit, motivate and manage them will need to develop their skills and work towards a relevant and accredited level of achievement.Â As a very large proportion of us work for charities, NfPs, etc. we do not have access to adequate funding for professional development from our organisations.
Volunteer managers work with people of all ages and ethnicities, disabled people, ex offenders, unemployed and homeless people, all of whom are supported by government but the funding of development and training for volunteer mangers who work with these groups, as well as all other sections of society, does not seem to be available from any source.
Director – Association of Volunteer Managers
Volunteer Development Manager – Cancer Research UK