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Title: Volunteering and employability : the roles and experiences of volunteer-involving organisations and employers in Scotland
Author: Reilly, Christine Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 4471
Awarding Body: Heriot-Watt University
Current Institution: Heriot-Watt University
Date of Award: 2014
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Volunteering is viewed as having a role to play in meeting policy objectives of Government at a local, Scottish, UK and EU level. One of those roles is in preparing people for paid employment. Some research has suggested that volunteering enhances employability, and this has become something of a universal truth. However, the majority of research on volunteering and employability is based upon the experience of the individual who has been volunteering. The perspective of other players in the labour market has typically not been taken into consideration. This research aims to fill this gap in knowledge by considering the roles played in employability by the employer, and by labour market intermediaries, specifically volunteer-involving organisations. Drawing on existing models of employability which demonstrate the importance of the labour market context, this qualitative research aims to better understand experiences of volunteering and employability that go beyond the individual volunteer. Taking a critical realist approach, the research is based upon in-depth interviews, and, in the case of employers, a pre-interview online survey. The data was analysed thematically to draw out themes within and across participating organisations. The research has found that volunteer-involving organisations are providing a key specialist role in employability provision, offering coaching and support to volunteers. Funding available for employability has allowed these organisations to become more financially sustainable, but there are tensions relating to the impact on volunteering, and balancing the needs of organisations with the demands of Government programmes and the needs of volunteers. From a labour market viewpoint, while third sector employers actively seek volunteering experience, public and private sector employers demonstrate an ambivalence towards volunteering; suggesting that while it can provide experience for those outwith the labour market, it does not form a part of the recruitment process, except where applicants are able to demonstrate its relevance.
Supervisor: Danson, Mike ; Whittam, Geoff ; De Ruyter, Alex ; Marks, Abigail Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available