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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Volunteers improve job skills

By Will MetcalfeDESPITE a bleak economic climate the voluntary sector can provide would-be jobseekers with a myriad of opportunities to help them back into work.

One of the most frequent reasons given after an unsuccessful interview is a “lack of experience”.

And according to members of Barrow’s voluntary organisations, becoming a volunteer can really offer a practical solution to getting back into employment.

From helping to gain real practical skills to helping to bolster your CV, volunteer work can help to make you stand out from other candidates.

Mark Bushell, of the Brathay Trust, in Ambleside, said: “We work with a lot of young people who volunteer in our programmes.

“They tell us that there’s a lot of motivation and self-belief.

“It gives a disciplined approach to life as well as building skills with people.

“Volunteering can give you job skills, team skills and help improve discipline.

“When you can show you have been volunteering and developing practical skills it can be impressive.

“If you work with young people, mentoring can come into it too. ”

Stuart Meredith, a team leader at the Prince’s Trust in Barrow, agreed that volunteering can help transform a jobseeker’s CV making it stand out from competition.

He said: “Volunteering can really help jobseekers.

“The course we run involves work experience – there are a lot of people without experience and even two weeks on your CV can stand out massively.

“We run a 12-week course for people aged between 16 and 25 that can help people back into that routine – you are working from 9am to 4pm from Monday to Friday and you can build personal skills, as well as working on community projects, work experience and your CV.”

l See our website www.nwemail.co.uk to view profiles of the seven candidates and video presentations from our jobseekers.

Employers wishing to find out more about how they can help the campaign are asked to phone A4e’s Barrow team on 01229 835311.

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