Charities urged to drop 'outdated' requirements for employees to have degrees

30 May 2019 News

A new campaign is calling on charities to stop excluding people who don't have a university degree from applying for jobs. 

#NonGraduatesWelcome is being run by David Burgess, director at Apollo Fundraising, because requiring a degree-level education can be a barrier to diversity.

A Twitter account, @NonGradsWelcome, was set up this month and has been highlighting examples of charity jobs being advertised with the requirement to be degree-educated. 

Burgess said that asking candidates to be degree educated is a barrier to diversity in the sector. He said: “We want organisations to consider what they are really looking for when asking for a degree-level qualification and to be more transparent about the skills and experience they require.

“This will enable applicants to decide how best they can evidence these skills, reflecting the fact a degree course is not the only way to gain or demonstrate these skills.”

He added that the degree requirement was redundant because job adverts often also require experience in similar roles. He also said that often, job posters use previous adverts as a template and so only keep the degree qualification in the advert as it is something that has always been there.

The campaign, which started last week, initially focused on the fundraising sector, but has expanded to the sector as a whole.

As well as the hashtag on Twitter, the campaign involves emailing organisations directly to ask why they feel a degree-level qualification is essential.

It has been supported by John Thompson, director of fundraising & recruitment services at Changing Business, Lizzi Hollis, head of corporate engagement and partnerships at Richard House Children’s Hospice, and Rob Shaw, a fundraising and sponsorship consultant.

Burgess plans to talk to the Institute of Fundraising to move the campaign forward, and is also engaging with networking groups across the sector to raise awareness.



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