If we look at TESYouth as an organisation it cannot be argued that its structure for employment isn’t unique. In fact, TESYouth is justifiably innovative in comparison to other charities – it offers its volunteers the opportunity to gather skills and experience in roles they may never have been able to before.
In the age of ‘experience required’ role desirability putting barriers in the way of talent, TesYouth does what very few charities do – it promotes the crusade against youth employment while ensuring those who are campaigning as volunteers are employed. While this may seem like a win-win solution, and a simple enough idea many charities and organisations may not want to put these roles in the hands of those who lack the experience to take on larger responsibilities.
So why should they? What makes volunteering so effective and why should more organisations take the leap into using it?
Firstly, and most often most important to many companies – volunteering is free! Rather than going through the rigorous recruitment process to acquire new employees, volunteering allows for a constant stream of new colleagues and fresh ideas. And the type of candidates would meet the much-needed number of young people to drive an organisation. As universities break up and graduates leave craving experience and buzzing with drive it is most probable that the majority of volunteering interest would come from this sector.
Youth often brings innovation and with innovation comes exciting ideas that may have not have come from someone who ticks the boxes for a permanent role. Whether this is content writing or helping on social media a constant stream of new people helps to keep ideas exciting and current.
To the same token if someone leaves then it is no issue for rigorous employment campaigns to be enforced – that person is free to move on and can take with them the future experience to use in desired roles. So not only does the employer benefit, the employee, although not paid, gets to benefit too. Thus, TesYouth has met its aims as an organisation for assisting people into work. Simple!
Another benefit for companies would be to highlight work ethic for its original members of staff. By making a support network for volunteers, current staff could vastly improve their own skills and experience. Having original staff supplement their roles would allow volunteers to get the best practice they possibly could by observing how an expert works and can again take this to a future role. Likewise, the original member of staff can then add to his own skillset.
With all this in mind, hiring volunteers can and should be a practice that more companies use, particularly those promoting an ethos of employment and youth support. By following TESYouth’s lead perhaps we could end unemployment in the younger generation once and for all.
Written by Lauren Benali