Posts Tagged ‘“work experience”’
Mark Barrett, 23, from Banbury explains how starting out as a voluntary intern with RSPB Midlands led to him securing a permanent paid position as Community Collections Officer with them.
My internship at the RSPB Midlands Office in Banbury took place between March and June 2011, for three days a week. Having left university and gained work experience through part-time retail work, I jumped at the opportunity to help raise awareness and funds for a fantastic cause, having found the link searching for local opportunities through vInspired.
I was involved with the Love Nature Week fundraising project – which saw me recruiting volunteers and promoting the initiative by various different means, from phone calls in the office to trawling the towns and cities of the Midlands dressed as a giant owl!
I also had the opportunity to help fundraise at one of the collections myself – as a first time bucket collector, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, particularly meeting a wide range of people who were able to relay their varied and interesting stories about birds and wildlife.
No two days were ever the same, and I was able to work alongside some wonderful people in the office and also the fantastic volunteers who did an outstanding job of helping to raise plenty of funds. It allowed me to brush up on existing skills, as well as developing new ones.
After my placement finished I returned to part-time retail work whilst volunteering at the RSPB on my days off, working on various projects including a fundraising concert featuring bands in the Oxford area that benefited not only the RSPB, but also two other charities (The Earth Trust and the Sumatran Orangutan Society).
The position of Community Collections Officer became available in September when a member of staff left – I applied for the post and after an interview, I accepted the post and have been working full-time for the RSPB ever since!
My experience as an intern for the RSPB was a memorable one, and one that I enjoyed immensely. I would encourage anyone wanting to gain work experience to think about doing it through volunteering– it can be highly rewarding and exceptionally enjoyable.
And the experience that I gained from my placement proved invaluable. For this reason, I would recommend volunteering to anyone.
The RSPB Midlands Office is currently looking for an intern to support Love Nature Week this year.
To find out more, please visit the vInspired website for further details.
Kathryn Smith, 24, from Melton Mowbray, recently graduated from Derby University and is pursuing a career in the Media industry.
She recently signed up as volunteer runner at our forthcoming vInspired National Awards on the 22 March. Read her feedback from last week’s fun-packed induction day for National Awards volunteers…
A few weeks ago I applied to a volunteering opportunity on the vInspired website, as a Backstage Runner for their National Awards on 22 March. I had a phone interview a few days ago and surprisingly passed it, where I was told that there would be an Induction Day at the vInspired offices in London on Saturday 3rd March.
Once at vInspired, I met everyone else who was volunteering on the night – including another Backstage Runner, Emma, as well as four event supporters, three photographers and a DJ.
After a meet and greet with the Vinspired team behind the event (and an introduction ice-breaker involving wrapping a piece of string around your index finger!), we got going on the day’s agenda…
We were told all about vInspired – what they stand for, what the organisation does, the awards ceremony and the running order of the night. We were also told about celebrities, numerous artists and special guests expected to attend on the night – for now it’s top-secret, but fear not, it won’t disappoint!
Another thing we all saw was a video of last year’s event, and we saw people like Keith Lemon, Kevin Spacey and Natasha Beddingfield, and from what we saw it looked like a pretty awesome evening.
I got to learn a lot more about the people there over lunch and throughout the day, especially when we were given the task of using newspapers and cellotape to make a Giraffe. As you can see below, it was a really fun activity, (and the Giraffe doesn’t look that bad either!).
Finally we were given a quiz on everything we had learned and said what we wanted to happen on the night, our personal goals, and what fears we had. After getting our packs, finding out what our roles and responsibilities were and plans for a great time at the after-party, we all headed back home.
Funnily enough, I managed to retrace my steps back to St Pancras, and after running up escalator steps and down platforms I made it on the train and back out of London. I don’t know if this is me but I find that time goes by so fast in London – I hope this doesn’t happen on the 22nd March, I want to remember the night, all the new experiences I’ll get and people I’ll meet, as much as I can
So all that is left for me to say is, bring on the 22nd March – I can’t wait to start running!
There’s no doubt about it – volunteering helps to develop new skills, make new contacts, and new friends. It’s a great way to make employers notice your CV. Here’s why volunteering is a real career kick-starter….
1. It boosts your confidence
Volunteering is a fun way of giving your confidence a big boost by trying new things. 92 per cent of young people who have volunteered through vInspired report they feel more confident as a result.
2. It builds employable skills
Volunteering improves core skills such as team work and communication, gives invaluable experience and makes connections with future employers. As a result, your CV and applications forms will stand out and show that you mean business – essential in the current job market.
3. You get a head start
Volunteering helps you get ahead in your career. Research shows that 72% of employers agree or strongly agree that volunteering can have a positive effect on an individual’s career progression.
3. It’s fun!
Aside from anything else, volunteering gives you a fantastic buzz and helps you decide what types of work you enjoy most. Volunteer in something you’re passionate about and you’ll get a lot more out of it. Not only that but it’s a great way to make new friends with people who share similar interests and aspirations
5. It’s a world of possibilities
Volunteering opportunities exist in almost every field of work – from working at film companies, to charities, events companies, or even abroad. Have a think about the kind of thing you want to do. Opportunities vary from one off, half-day things to virtually full time, 12 month activities. The list is almost endless. So what are you waiting for?!
In just 5 years, we’ve created over 1 million volunteering opportunities on vinspired.com, which can help you build valuable career skills. There’s going to be one just right for you. Simply enter your postcode and interests, and opportunities will appear straight away. Happy volunteering!
At school my teachers constantly drummed into us that if you didn’t work hard and get good grades we’d be sentenced to a lifetime of “stacking shelves in Tesco’s” or “flipping burgers in Burger King” but with the latest Workfare Scheme announced by Nick Clegg, it seems this has become the acceptable pathway into full time employment.
I’m not saying I’m totally against the government’s scheme, as I believe that experience is priceless when it comes to finding a job. But what bothers me is the fact that it has not considered the importance for young people of pursuing a career based on their interests and passions.
I left university last summer and although I took up work experience whilst I was there it was not enough to get me a job straight out of Uni – so I got online and found a voluntary internship in the field I was passionate about. I know not everybody can afford to work for free but if you’re already claiming JSA like I was, a voluntary role was my best option.
The difference between my voluntary internship and the current workfare scheme is that I really enjoyed what I was doing and so getting up every morning wasn’t a chore. Society for years has stigmatised the roles that the scheme is offering so of course young people aren’t going to be jumping out of their seats to get involved.
Instead of spoon-feeding young people mediocre work experience placements, why couldn’t the government pick up where schools have failed and equip young people with the skills and confidence to actually get out there and find work experience in areas that they’re genuinely passionate about?
Nobody wants to work for free but competition for jobs is rife and you can either sit back in resentment or do as my Dad has been telling me: “prove your worth and the job will follow.”
Fair game for the jobless or exploitation of vulnerable young people? What have you made of the recent controversy over the government’s work experience scheme? Share your views here.
Cem Kaymaz-Yildiz is currently a Digital Intern at vInspired
Having spent the past four months visiting the Jobcentre once every fortnight, I’ve finally signed off and managed to achieve an elusive paid internship here at vinspired. After leaving university this summer with my degree in hand and optimistic plans for the future, the last thing I expected was being stuck on the dole with an outbox of CVs yearning for replies. So now I’ve signed off, I can tell you about my experience at the Jobcentre and how to survive.
The Jobcentre is a depressing place. Fact. Everybody there would rather not be. The whole experience starts by reeling off the reasons why you’re in the predicament of unemployment, what you have achieved so far and plans for the future. Make the most of this because that induction is likely to be the most communication you’ll ever have for the rest of your time ‘signing on’.
You’re told you’ll be given an advisor (this never happened) and you’re given a little grey booklet to document your job search, then sent on your way as another plus one on unemployment stats.
For the next two weeks you fill in the booklet, much like those teachers’ reports they gave to naughty children with all the jobs you have been looking at/applying for. You can also plan your disguise for next week’s appointment when you inevitably bump into somebody you know (this will happen – hide or embrace the fact that you’re in it together!).
Your second appointment will form the basis for the rest of your visits – sit down, wait, wait and wait some more. When your name is finally called, your job booklet is signed without being checked and you’re handed your next appointment date. Talking and eye contact are kept to a minimum.
The best thing about the Jobcentre though, has to be their loyalty rewards scheme. It would seem that the longer you’re unemployed the more freebies you get! There’s the discounted travelcard, funding for further study but best of all you can get a grant for a new suave suit worth up to £300!
When I did finally get my first opportunity doing a voluntary internship at young people’s charity, Catch22, I was told that I would have to sign off. Great, so gaining work experience is frowned upon, but stay unemployed and you get to travel around on the cheap, pretending you’re James Bond in a new suit. It just didn’t make sense.
After arguing my point several times over I was told that it would be ok as long as I reduced my intended hours and made sure I was available for my appointments. I would also have to state which travel and lunch expenses I was receiving so they could reduce my payments (due to my one day a week bar work). So I found myself gaining work experience but receiving less money – now that’s what I really would call a Catch 22 situation.
I could rant forever about how bad I think the system is. If David Cameron could try out a ‘Secret Millionaire’ type programme, whereby he could be donned in some cutting edge prosthetics, thrust into a Jobcentre and the results broadcasted live, I would definitely pay to watch!
The Jobcentre is a leech that sucks every bit of motivation and faith from you. If you don’t have thick skin you’ll become a lifeless drone, happy to accept your statutory fate. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can avoid the above symptoms by staying active and having faith that a job will finally arrive. The day will come when you can finally look back and laugh about your whole experience.
I’m using my paid digital internship at vinspired to make myself super employable so I never have to go back. They say there is no hell on earth… I beg to differ.
Post by Jasmin Begum
The Government is developing a strategy to support more young people aged 16-25 to participate in education, training and employment so the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) invited few young people from v’s programmes, including me, to participate in a research study. The study is for the Department to better understand the people who have influenced our experiences, attitudes and behaviour to work.
Some of us have good and encouraging role models in our families, but a lack sufficient materials and guidance from the state and Job Centre Plus. There were some good experiences of Job Centre Plus staff but most of us felt ignored by staff who didn’t understand our aspirations and ambitions to find a satisfying job.
Also many of us felt that young people not given a chance to prove our potential. After a while this knocks down our emotions, self-esteem, capability and motivation. Many of the group have tried very hard with sheer determination to get a job, but have not been given a chance to utilise our skills and talents. We thought that young people are often underestimated, undermined or not listened to. That is not to justify crime or violence, but we have the trebling of tuition fees, the EMA being taken away, and many jobs cuts with youth unemployment rising.
For many families disability or lack of childcare plus rising living costs keep people in poverty. We suggested to DWP how this poverty trap can be tackled. We need more social justice by creating wider opportunities, opening doors and gaining that equal access to work and learning for every group in society, especially those that are from less privileged and deprived backgrounds that lack the economic incentives to be socially mobile.
We need more adequate careers guidance and better support to prepare us for job hunting and work. The government should invest in more young people’s interventions and specified schemes that will give that boost and target those multiple deprived areas that need support and attention. The government should remember it’s about making young people not breaking them!
It was an extraordinary opportunity to influence what goes into the Government’s Participation Strategy, and meet policy makers that affect us at a government department. More young people have the opportunity to represent themselves. This kind of work will help the government to hear us out and build a brighter future. We hope in return we receive the right policies and services.
Here’s what a few of the other young people in the group had to say…
“It’s nice to know that there are people on our side helping us.” v/St John Ambulance volunteer
“I felt that they listened to us and took our opinions on board. I hope that we helped to make a positive change for young people.” Elisha, v/St John Ambulance volunteer
“I felt they wanted to understand our point of view which is a good thing and want to know how the system works in our view.” Curtley, v/St John Ambulance volunteer
Last Thursday was no normal day for the team here at v, oh no! Instead of heading to sunny v HQ to sit at our desks and make waves on Outlook, we made our merry way to Camley Street Nature Park in King’s Cross wearing slacks and hiking boots to do a day of volunteering! After a morning of mulching, weeding and tempering, we had a hearty lunch before painting some lovely quotes on boards to go up around the Community Garden! And just in case you don’t believe that we really did get down to the manual work, check out the pic of my tempering handywork on the right there >>
If all that wasn’t enough to make the day stand out, the party animals in the group changed into their Thursday night finest to join our lucky competition winners at the vinspired Lake of Stars Fundraiser gig, featuring Tinashe and the Noisettes. Held in the beautiful Union Chapel in Islington, N. London, the gig was put on to raise money for the vinspired Lake of Stars music festival in Malawi, happening this October. Run completely by volunteers, the festival and the fundraiser gigs are an incredible showcase of exactly what volunteers can do when they put their minds to it! And I am absolutely sure anyone at this gig would agree that it was an incredible evening…
New talent Tinashe blew the crowd away with a selection of smooth tracks from his new album ‘Saved’, before the Noisettes took the night to a whole new level with the sound of Shingai Shoniwa’s voice echoing through the eerie chapel setting. What made the night was not just the amazing raw talent, or the fact that we were all sitting in pews feeling a little overawed by the accoustics and our surroundings, but the fact that the whole night was run by volunteers to raise money for a festival that is making a huge difference in Malawi.
To find out more or to get involved, click here now.
v, the Minister for the Third Sector, Angela Smith MP and MP’s from across the parties recently gathered in central London to congratulate the nearly 400 young people graduating from v’s innovative full-time programme, vTalent Year - currently being piloted in 33 local authorities and 28 Further Education colleges. See pictures of the ceremony here.
Coming from across England, each young person received the Prime Minister’s Award for National Civic Service, recognising and rewarding their full-time voluntary service to support the work of, among other things; nurseries, children and youth centres, youth crime prevention, asylum seeker and substance misuse teams. Watch the graduates talking about their work.
Entertainment on the day came from pop star Bashy and dance group Subcrew.
Nearly 60% of the volunteers were not in education, employment or training prior to starting the programme and came from all walks of life, including young offenders, young parents, care leavers and graduates. Having gained experience and an accredited qualification, many of the young volunteers are already progressing on to further study, training or employment. The vtalent year experience is set to be an important milestone in their future careers and educational endeavours; hear from the young people.
Terry Ryall, v’s Chief Executive, who co-presented at the graduation ceremony, commented: “Volunteering unleashes young peoples’ talents, gives them a fantastic array of new skills and experience, whilst empowering young people to shape the places where they live”.
The high quality, structured placements in areas such as nursery education, play, youth work and supporter learning last 44 weeks, lead to a minimum of a level 2 qualification and offer personal development grants of up to £1,500 for young volunteers on completion of the programme. Interim findings from the programme will be available in Autumn 2010.
Afternoon all and happy Friday to yous all.
Are you all sitting comfortably? For we have a warm fuzzy story for you, so sit back, pop on the kettle and enjoy
‘Twas a dark, windy Tuesday in February and on the busy streets of London, the rain was threatening to fall. Walking down the bustling streets of Covent Garden, you would never have guessed what was going on just minutes away in big beautiful setting of the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden…
… For there were hundreds of wondrous young people who had all completed a whopping 44 weeks of volunteering as part of v‘s full-time volunteering programme, vtalent year. As the warm, scrumptious food was served young people from each region of the whole country took their places as they prepared for what would be a very special moment.
As each of the 358 graduates were called to the stage to be met by none other than our v Queen, CEO Terry Ryall, they each received a certificate signed by none other than Gordy Brown himself.
And with stories going around about what each student had done during their year, from young work to sexual health marketing, the room hummed with happy people. There were stories of people going on to gain employment, places in University, volunteering in South Africa and more!
The day ended with lots of smily people going home to celebrate in their groups and v going home feeling proud and very happy
If you want to find out more about vtalent year, click here!
To see photos from the event, click here!
And to watch a video of some vtalent year volunteers, click below!
Congrats to all who graduated and for making it such a special day.
Happy Friday peoples. And what a welcome Friday it is. It’s been one heck of a week for JJ here. Seriously, what with 14 days of snow, 3 days of work, 2 days of Photoshop training and 1 night of insomnia, I am starting to look like Heidi from Celeb BB and feel like…well, Heidi from celeb BB. The only difference is that I am not a criminal, I have normal-sized lips, and I can now airbrush myself on Photoshop… Actually, what was I complaining about again?
Anyway, I thought it most certainly worth my while to let you know that things are as exciting as ever here at v. We have got loads more opportunities on vinspired.com, we have started planning another big fat summer on the bus, and we have just started recruiting for v20. I fear you might be asking what v20 is and let’s be honest, you should know, but for the sake of diplomacy I shall explain that v20 are our fabulous Youth Advisory Board that tell us what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong and what we are doing that’s ugly. Nice. Unfortunately, I shall be taking advice from them when I turn 26 in July, but until that point, I shall surely be pointing them in the direction of my older and wiser colleagues
To find out more about this opportunity, which is a year-long flexible role, head here, but for those who want a word from an insider about what it’s really like, let me tell you it’s worth it. What you get out is what you put in and all that jazz, and just imagine what it could do for your CV? An opportunity not to be missed.
Anyway I am afraid it is time to depart because, as if by a miracle I am spending this evening doing the one thing that might actually wake me up and chill me out… rockeoke (see what they’ve done there…). We are all going as a little work night out. I am not sure if we are mad or if there really will be some pleasure to losing our dignity and gaining a few unidentified beer injuries. Ill let you know when I have found out though, but by <<<< that picture of me doing kareoke last year, I think we know our answer.