The Minister for the Cabinet Office spoke at an event last week and was quoted in Third Sector as saying that he thinks that public sector employees who are being made redundant from their roles would make good voluntary managers of volunteers in third sector organisations.
The article can be seen by following this link. (http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/channels/Volunteering/Article/1078055/Redundant-public-sector-workers-become-volunteer-managers-says-Francis-Maude/ )and of course take a look at the comments below.
This does of course raise many many issues, each one of which may cause your blood to boil. The Association of Volunteer Managers has replied and we anticipate our letter being published this week. Our response can be seen on (http://www.volunteermanagers.org.uk) and we would like to hear what you think.
Some of what bothered me about this reported statement was:
- the lack of recognition that there is a distinct skills set around the management of volunteers
- the assumption that anyone with managerial skills and no experience of or passion for volunteering can manage volunteers
- the assumption that those being made redundant from public sector bodies can afford to continue to work – with no pay
- the assumption that if they are volunteering it needs to be as managers of volunteers, and not as finance officers, logistics planners, HR officers and many of the other functions that they may already have skills and experience in and are needed by under funded third sector organisations
- the assumption that it is OK for organisations wishing to engage volunteers, not to invest in it.
DJ Cronin wrote a great post earlier this week about the need for representative organisations to take a lead, AVM can only lead if we know how our constituents feel, so please do comment on this, and post on our website so that we can make sure we are going in the right direction.