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Frontpage News 2015 Volunteering: a springboard for employment

Photo credit: NGO Platform for Social Action

Volunteering: a springboard for employment

  • Volunteering considerably boosts your chances on the job market. This is the main finding drawn from a study financed by the ‘Reconoce’ project under the Spanish NGO Programme.

    The report “Youth volunteering situation in employment: skills and employability”, carried out by the Spanish Confederation of Don Bosco Youth Centres, Didania Federation and ASDE Scouts Spain, shows that the unemployment rate among volunteers is 23%, well below the youth unemployment rate nationally in Spain, which exceeds 50%.

    39% of volunteers consider that voluntary work “helps to some extent” or “helps a lot” in finding a job and most include their volunteering participation on their CV. Core skills obtained through volunteering such as team-working, communication, relationship-building and problem-solving are all necessities in the job market. Demonstrating skills developed through work in the volunteer sector can strongly increase a candidate’s appeal to prospective employers.

    This study is the first step of Reconoce or 'Acknowledge' project. The aim of the project is to enhance recognition of the invaluable contribution made by volunteers working in youth clubs and leisure activity centres and to improve their employability.

    2015_02_28_ES03-0026 Photo credit: NGO Platform for Social Action

    These are the next stages for the project promoters, who bring together a network comprising of around 15 000 volunteers:

    • creation of a network of ‘Reconoce organisations’ aiming to gain recognition of volunteering experience
    • development of a campaign to raise awareness amongst employers of the skills and experience developed through volunteering
    • organisation of a series of roundtables for representatives from government and youth organisations as a first step to kick start an official procedure to gain formal recognition of volunteers’ professional skills

    The ‘Reconoce’ project is one of 38 selected the Spanish Active Citizenship NGO Programme. Managed by the NGO Platform of Social Action, the programme has received €4.6 million in funding from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the  EEA Grants. The programme aims to foster civil society, social justice and democracy by strengthening the role of the NGOs in society.

  • Country:


    Project title:

    ACKNOWLEDGE: National Network of Organizations for recognition of competences and skills gained through voluntary action

    Project number:


    Priority sector:

    Civil Society


    € 87238



    Project promoter:

    Confederation of Youth Centers Don Bosco of Spain

    Type of Institution:

    Umbrella organization / Network of NGOs

    Project website:


    Project duration:

    17 months

    Project cost:

    € 105,141

    Grant from:

    EEA Grants

    The experiences of non-formal recognition of skills gained by voluntary action are scarce at national level and there is no network that coordinate. The skills acquired by young volunteers through voluntary action are not valued and recognized. The objective of the project is to articulate a national network of organizations that promote the recognition of competences and skills gained through voluntary action. At least 12 organizations of regional and national level to join the network and participate in the system of non-formal competences recognition. Accredited voluntary action of at least 1,000 young people in the field of non formal education. At least 30 companies recognize and value the skills acquired by volunteers. This project will benefit various groups directly, a total of 1,630 people: young volunteers who accredit their voluntary action, Youth leaders, NGO, youth workers, employers and recruitment experts. The two partner organizations collaborate in all phases of the project and facilitate the participation of a large number of volunteers. We also have the support of the Youth Council of Spain who has expressed official interest in this project.