Rob Wilson, minister for civil society, has launched a review to encourage more young people to take part in full-time social action activity.
The Office for Civil Society has defined full-time volunteering as at least 16 hours a week for six months or more.
Its review will look at the challenges and benefits for young people and those organisations that support them. An advisory panel made up of experts from the voluntary and private sectors will be announced in the new year.
The panel will make recommendations to the minister by October 2017.
Wilson said: “By helping others, young people can also transform their own lives.
“Full-time volunteering can provide meaning and purpose, as well as allowing young people to gain the skills they need to transition into full-time work or study.
“I want to make sure that we encourage as many young people as possible to get involved and make a difference in their communities, building a society for everyone.”
‘Volunteers in legal limbo’
Youth volunteering charity, City Year UK, which has been campaigning for legal recognition for full-time volunteers said the announcement was a positive move.
Sophie Livingstone, chief executive of City Year UK, said: “For too long, full time volunteers have been punished for giving their time to worthwhile causes. They’re in legal limbo, unable to claim even the most minor of benefits enjoyed by the unemployed or those in work.
“I’m delighted that this review will now look at the legal status for full-time volunteers and how best to support and recognise young people who want to gain experience whilst giving back to their communities.”