The government has opened its independent review of the barriers to full-time youth volunteering, with a consultation now open to charities.
Former charities minister Rob Wilson commissioned Crisis chair and former National Grid chief executive Steve Holliday to chair the Full-Time Social Action review, which will consider what the voluntary sector, industry and government can do to support full-time volunteering.
The department has called for recommendations from charities, young people, employment and regulatory experts, economists and parliamentarians.
It will gather evidence on the current opportunities available, the status of full-time volunteers, the impact of full-time social action on young people and their communities, the barriers facing participants and providers, and how the UK compares to opportunities in other countries.
The review’s initial research found: “The main barriers for providers of full-time social action are navigating the complex legal and regulatory framework, reputational risk, providing adequate support for volunteers, funding and building relationships with partner organisations.”
The government’s definition of social action includes fundraising, supporting charities, tutoring and mentoring, supporting other people and campaigning. In this regard, it defines full time as, on average, at least 16 hours a week of social action activities for six months or more.
However, these definitions vary across different countries so international comparisons could be difficult.
The deadline for evidence to be submitted is Friday 13 October. Evidence can be submitted in writing to Youth Policy Team, 4th Floor, 1 Horse Guards Road, Westminster, London, SW1A 2HQ or via email to [email protected].
Holliday, with a panel of experts, will make recommendations to government by the end of 2017.