Thu | Jan 24, 2019

Employers Still Value Volunteerism

Published:Monday | April 13, 2015 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin

Volunteerism is still an important aspect of the recruitment process for many employers.

That was the sentiment expressed by Ronald Blake, executive director of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, along with members of the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) as they addressed a Gleaner Editors' Forum held at the newspaper's North Street, Kingston, offices last week.

Blake noted that volunteerism is often used as an avenue for employment.

"Employers, for the most part, are still big on volunteerism, and it is something they look for. I find that as a strategy to overcome the high levels of youth unemployment that currently exist, young people volunteer themselves as an avenue to await opportunities for institutions to take them on full time," he said.

"Agencies such as the NYS (National Youth Service) also provide an opportunity for employment, whether short or long term, where, once you have volunteered or have become involved in some social programme of the sort, they assist young persons in finding jobs," Blake said.

He added: "A lot of our schools encourage our students to be civic minded and promote the importance of volunteerism, which is a good sign. The truth is, we have always had an oversupply of young people for our Labour Day projects and other initiatives, giving of their time to assist in whatever way, so despite what is said, volunteerism is still alive and well."

Kerry-Ann Willis, youth representative at the CVSS, noted that as someone who works with youngsters, she has recognised that volunteerism is a big deal for them.

"It is an important aspect of job opportunity. Many young persons still see volunteerism as a significant part of their rÈsumÈ, and it is a medium through which they get experience and exposure to the different areas that they wish to take on as a career or otherwise," she said.