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Over half of UK employers more likely to hire someone with experience of volunteering

Over half of UK bosses (54%) would be more likely to employ someone who cited voluntary work on their CV over someone that didn't, according to a new survey by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

 

British employers estimate that skills picked up by their employees through volunteering contributes an extra value of over £35,000 each year to their business, and rate volunteers as being more caring (58%), reliable (49%) and driven (46%).

 

In fact, over a third (42%) of employers said seeing voluntary work on a CV would make them more likely to want to interview the applicant, which rated higher than basic IT skills (39%) or a degree (34%).

 

BHF shop manager and former volunteer, Matthew Lay, was born with Tetralogy of Fallow - a congenital heart condition made up of four heart abnormalities - and underwent a heart operation at just six. He began volunteering at the BHF in 2008, working his way up to shop manager at the Harrow BHF Shop.

 

He said, “It’s good to hear so many employers value the skills gained through volunteering. I started out as a volunteer myself and learnt so much on the job. Initially I wanted to give something back to the BHF, a charity that had supported me as a child. But the more I learnt, the more interested I became in retail and when a paid position became available, I went for it.

 

“I’m now responsible for managing over 60 volunteers in the shop and I love it. Each person is here for a different reason but we all have something in common – we all want to raise as much money as possible to fund life saving heart research, whilst picking up invaluable skills along the way.”

 

Voluntary work doesn’t just benefit employers it seems, with almost a quarter of Brits (23%) surveyed admitting they find an interest in volunteering an attractive quality in others.

 

Of the people surveyed who have never volunteered, almost half (45%) thought volunteering would help them make new friends. Over a third (35%) said it could make their life more satisfying and three in ten people (30%) recognised the potential to gain new skills or qualifications.

 

The benefits were confirmed by volunteers themselves who rated the top three best things about volunteering as making new friends (50%), having a more satisfying life (49%) and gaining new skills (44%).

 

It takes over 20,000 volunteers to keep the BHF’s 750 shops across the UK running, raising around £30m each year to help fund life saving heart research in the fight against coronary heart disease.

 

Top 10 benefits of volunteering rated by UK volunteers

Made new friends

 

50.96%

It has made my life more satisfying

49.21%

I have gained new skills

 

44.31%

It has made me feel my life is more worthwhile

36.08%

 

Increased confidence

35.55%

 

Increased my earning potential

9.46%

 

Gained a qualification

9.11%

 

It's made me more attractive to the opposite sex or helped me get dates

4.90%

 

Directly led to paid employment

4.55%

 

Met my husband/wife/partner

3.33%

 

 

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