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How effective is youth volunteering as an employment strategy? A mixed methods study of England

How effective is youth volunteering as an employment strategy? A mixed methods study of England
How effective is youth volunteering as an employment strategy? A mixed methods study of England
Volunteering is routinely advocated in British policy as a key mechanism for young people to gain employment, but with little evidence of its viability as a strategy. Indeed, the limited research in this area suggests the link is weak and that access to good quality volunteering is differentiated along class lines. This article draws on a mixed methods approach, using survey data from the Citizenship Education Longitudinal Survey and qualitative interviews, to analyse the relationship between youth volunteering and employment. It finds that volunteering is not unequivocally beneficial for employment, particularly if it does not offer career-related experience or is imposed rather than self-initiated. It can even have a negative effect on employment. Furthermore, social class mediates access to volunteering opportunities most likely to convert into employment. We conclude there is little evidence to support policy assumptions that, in the short term, volunteering has a positive relationship to paid employment.
0038-0385
763-781
Leonard, Pauline
a2839090-eccc-4d84-ab63-c6a484c6d7c1
Hoskins, Bryony
3b43568a-23ba-469a-9c5d-9c651eec8340
Wilde, Rachel J.
3d5cca38-0900-4744-9daf-a838fdb5c0a2
Leonard, Pauline
a2839090-eccc-4d84-ab63-c6a484c6d7c1
Hoskins, Bryony
3b43568a-23ba-469a-9c5d-9c651eec8340
Wilde, Rachel J.
3d5cca38-0900-4744-9daf-a838fdb5c0a2

Leonard, Pauline, Hoskins, Bryony and Wilde, Rachel J. (2020) How effective is youth volunteering as an employment strategy? A mixed methods study of England. Sociology, 54 (4), 763-781. (doi:10.1177/0038038520914840).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Volunteering is routinely advocated in British policy as a key mechanism for young people to gain employment, but with little evidence of its viability as a strategy. Indeed, the limited research in this area suggests the link is weak and that access to good quality volunteering is differentiated along class lines. This article draws on a mixed methods approach, using survey data from the Citizenship Education Longitudinal Survey and qualitative interviews, to analyse the relationship between youth volunteering and employment. It finds that volunteering is not unequivocally beneficial for employment, particularly if it does not offer career-related experience or is imposed rather than self-initiated. It can even have a negative effect on employment. Furthermore, social class mediates access to volunteering opportunities most likely to convert into employment. We conclude there is little evidence to support policy assumptions that, in the short term, volunteering has a positive relationship to paid employment.

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Accepted/In Press date: 5 February 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 18 May 2020
Published date: 1 August 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 438129
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/438129
ISSN: 0038-0385
PURE UUID: dc164530-8db2-470c-9b1e-262a1f260f48
ORCID for Pauline Leonard: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8112-0631

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Date deposited: 02 Mar 2020 17:31
Last modified: 27 Oct 2020 19:56

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