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ERIC Number: ED470938
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
VET and the Voluntary Sector: Dealing with Ambiguities. Working Paper.
Hopkins, Sonnie
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 1994-95 survey indicate that about one-fifth of the adult population volunteers. Estimated value of their work is 3% of the gross national product, $12.5 billion. However, volunteer training is neglected in the National Strategy for Vocational Education and Training (VET). A seminar was conducted to identify volunteer training issues in VET. Participants noted that, ideally, organizations would have a mix of volunteers and paid personnel and that volunteer experience would be a valuable indicator of employability. In organizations where specific competencies are required, such as fire fighting, volunteers need a high level of capability and thus more training. Better delivery of training would improve satisfaction. Constraints on volunteer training include cost, loss of investment when volunteers leave, tensions between paid and unpaid workers, and lack of capacity. Strong anecdotal support was found for volunteer work as a significant path to paid work. Ambiguities surround the attempt to interpret volunteer employment and training in accordance with market economy principles. Assessment is also an ambiguous issue: formal assessment may be perceived as a failure to respect the gift of volunteers' time, yet volunteers may resent training and assessment that favors paid employees. Participants demonstrated a high level of support for national Training Packages, if used selectively and sensitively. The choice of undergoing formal assessments involved in the Training Packages should be left to the volunteer. (Contains 20 references.) (SK)
For full text:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Australian National Training Authority, Melbourne.
Authoring Institution: Monash Univ., Clayton, Victoria (Australia). Centre for the Economics of Education and Training.
Identifiers - Location: Australia