Future Skills for Volunteering
The consortium’s prior Erasmus+ project FUTUR3 has in its study identified 4 scenarios affecting voluntary and other third sector organisations: digital, growing inequality, loose communities and the status quo. With implications on skills needs, all these scenarios play a part in shaping the future. This trickles down to staff and volunteers alike, leaving both in a need to acquire skills to manage the future. This project focuses on volunteers in both formal and informal volunteering and acknowledges trends such as episodic and micro volunteering.
Following the European Year of Volunteers in 2011, the working group EYV Alliance made the following policy recommendations for volunteering: creating an enabling environment, enhancing quality, recognition of volunteering, and acknowledging its value )http://www.hfvc.org.uk/eurozone/EYV2011Alliance_PAVE.pdf). At the same time, the European Commission’s recommendation on the validation of non-formal and informal learning (2012/C 398/01) calls on civil society actors like voluntary organisations to provide individuals with documentation of their informally acquired learning outcomes for validation. So far, these recommendations have been partially met, and set a challenge for the European third sector.
Through this project we can help realise these policy targets at both an individual and institutional level by taking a future-oriented approach. To do so, the “Future Skills for Volunteering” project shall:
- develop and test a design thinking based (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_thinking) peer learning model to help volunteers acquire what are defined in this project as ‘future skills’
- design a tool for volunteers to observe and manage change in their everyday work using e.g. weak signal detection methods
- a future skills in volunteering skills concept with validation tools for the learning outcomes
- publish a publication ‘Future Skills Guide to Volunteering.