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The UK Voluntary Sector Workforce Almanac 2011

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Wed, 26/10/2011

New almanac chronicles a decade’s growth

Newly-published research has revealed a significant growth in the size of the voluntary sector workforce over the past decade. The UK Voluntary Sector Workforce Almanac 2011 published today (26 October 2011) shows that there were 765,000 people working in the voluntary sector in 2010, an increase of 40% since 2001. This represents a quicker rate of growth than that experienced in either the public or the private sectors over the same period. Such long term growth precedes recently released figures showing indications of a downturn in voluntary sector employment during 2011.

Key findings:

  • In 2010, there were 765,000 people employed in the UK voluntary sector, an increase of 40% since 2001.
  • In 2010, over half a million women (522,000) were employed in the voluntary sector.
  • More than half (57%) of the voluntary sector workforce were employed in ‘health and social work’, equating to 437,000 people.
  • The sector now employs around 2.7% of the UK workforce, a proportion that has slowly increased from 2% in 2001.
  • Over one-third (38%) of voluntary sector workers were employed part-time, a higher proportion than within the private and public sectors.
  • Gross weekly pay in the voluntary sector amounted to an average of £397.71 in 2010, lower than in both the private and public sectors (£452.60 and £466.53 respectively).
  • More than one-third (37%) of voluntary sector employees hold a degree level qualification or higher.
  • Just under one fifth (18%) of voluntary sector employers reported that they have staff with skills gaps. The main impact of skills gaps within the voluntary sector was an increase in the workload of other employees (61%).
  • The majority of voluntary organisations (56%) provided both on-the-job and off-the-job training in their organisation, however just under one-fifth (18%) provided no training at all.
  • Only 5% of voluntary sector employers currently have or offer apprenticeships; however 92% had heard of Government-funded apprenticeships.

The Workforce Almanac is a user-friendly source of research and information for voluntary sector employers and managers. It was commissioned by Skills – Third Sector and has been jointly-produced as part of an ongoing partnership of research into the sector’s workforce with the Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC) and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

Copies can be downloaded from the Skills – Third Sector, NCVO and TSRC websites. You can also email to obtain a free copy.