Research reveals volunteering enhances young people’s skills, increases employability

New research from the Lloyds Scholars Programme reveals the outstanding impact that volunteering is having on young people including developing skills, becoming more employable and feeling good about their social impact.

Lloyds Scholars is Lloyds Banking Group’s award-winning social mobility programme that is having a positive impact on employability for over 600 students from lower income households. Lloyds Scholars offers talented undergraduates at its nine partner universities financial support, paid internships, professional mentoring and a wealth of opportunities to develop their employability skills. In return, all Scholars commit to at least 100 hours of skills based volunteering in their communities each academic year.

For most Scholars joining the programme, volunteering was a new experience, with 92% stating that they would not otherwise give as much time and skills to local community projects. The sectors Scholars choose to volunteer in is diverse, including 53% giving time to children, youth and family organisations and 50% committing to community projects such as homelessness and counselling. Other volunteering interests included culture and heritage organisations (17%), environmental issues (15%) and sports organisations (15%).[i]

A staggering amount of the young people surveyed agreed and strongly agreed that it improved their skills and capabilities in;

  • People skills (91%)
  • Employability skills (90%)
  • Organisational and planning skills (88%)
  • Time management skills (79%)
  • Leadership’s skills (78%)
  • Entrepreneurial and business skills (36%)

Two thirds (67%) of the Scholars surveyed said they spent their time tutoring and sharing skills, instilling confidence in people’s aspirations, raising awareness for a cause and bringing an extra capable pairs of hands to a project in need.

Scholars also highlighted that becoming a volunteer supported their own employability prospects come graduation, with 75% saying that the skills learnt puts them in a stronger position against their peers in a competitive job market. 80% noted that being able to example problem solving skills, teamwork and time management would make them attractive to potential employers, 70% said that volunteering made a significant contribution to their CV and 58% noted that what they have learned will help them perform well at the interview stage.

Almost half (49%) of the Scholars strongly agreed that volunteering was a rewarding experience, specifically noting that they felt they were making a real difference and felt positive about their own future afterwards.

Now entering its sixth year, the survey of the 600+ past and present Lloyds Scholars demonstrates that the Group’s investment in education and skills, as part of its commitment to Help Britain Prosper, has had a significant social impact and made a considerable difference to young people’s employability. In fact, 91% of Lloyds Scholars are employed or in further study within six months of graduating and earning £13,000 more than the average graduate, one year after graduating.[ii]

David Rowsell, Head of Education and Employability Programmes said “We would like to thank the Lloyds Scholars for all their efforts in making a real difference in their local communities. This research highlights the valuable skills they are also learning along the way. As part of its ambition to help Britain prosper, the Group will donate 2.3 million colleague volunteering hours by 2020 to support community projects across the UK and is immensely proud of colleagues who are contributing towards projects they are passionate about.”

In addition to Lloyds Scholars, Lloyds Banking Group colleagues also volunteer through programmes such as StandingOut, which encourages colleagues to volunteer as school governors and Non-Executive Directors with the aim of improving governance and school performance.

Applications for the Lloyds Scholars Programme are open until 09 June 2017. To be eligible, students must come from homes where household income is under £25,000 and have been offered a conditional place at one of the nine partner universities involved. 

[i] Results conducted in 2017 by external evaluator, Envoy Partnership, to assess the impact of the programme’s volunteering. The survey was completed between 23 March and 22 April 2016.146 Scholars took the survey.

[ii] Results conducted in 2017 by external evaluator, Envoy Partnership, to assess the impact of the programme and calculate its social value