Handbook: Youth Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment

Introducing IAVE’s Handbook on Youth, Volunteering and Employment

In its global leadership for volunteering, the International Association for Volunteer Effort has long been an advocate for the ways in which volunteering can enable all people to lead healthier, more fulfilling and more productive lives while addressing pressing community and global problems.  We have been a strong advocate for the inclusion of a youth voice in shaping the present and the future of volunteering. IAVE believes that volunteering is a key way to empower youth to develop a lifelong habit of caring and serving.

As participants in IAVE’s 2014 World Youth Volunteer Conference wrote in their concluding statement: “Volunteering is a powerful tool that builds leadership among youth, helping develop compassionate agents of change active in the present and working for a better future.”

This handbook is a resource to inform and educate youth volunteers, organizations that engage youth volunteers, and corporations the added value and skills youth obtain from volunteering. It serves to highlight the importance of youth volunteering as a way to learn skills, increase a young persons’ network of contacts, and encourage youth to gain real-life perspectives. 

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This unit, directed at youth volunteers or youth looking to volunteer, will allow them to explore and learn about the value of volunteer work in helping them obtain employment, as well as to discover a set of potential new skills that can be obtained through volunteering. The unit also provides them with useful tools and tips to help keep a volunteer log and present their volunteer experience in their CVs.

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NGOs can help address the global crisis of youth unemployment by making available volunteer opportunities for youth people that will allow them to build or enhance their skills, leading to full-time employment opportunities. This unit gives NGOs ways to understand what young people can offer them, exploring ways to make volunteer work meaningful for youth and their professional career. 

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It is often stated that volunteering can be a way to help future professionals in the workforce expand their network of contacts, improve their CVs and make a positive impression in a competitive job market. Corporations should be aware of this while recruiting new employees. This unit explores the benefits of making the hiring process much more inclusive, detailing the different types of activities and experiences to look for in potential hires.

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