Charity staff numbers flatline despite Big Society
Numbers of paid staff and average hourly pay have failed to recover since the last quarter, despite increased emphasis on the Government’s Big Society.
Latest Labour Force Survey figures for the fourth quarter of 2010 show that the voluntary sector employs 793,000 people, the same figure as reported during the previous quarter. The previous quarter’s figures were a 2% reduction on the preceding quarter. Median gross hourly earnings have stayed at £10.40 per hour.
The findings were produced by the Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC) and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) in partnership with Skills –Third Sector. The findings come as part of an ongoing study being conducted by these three bodies into overall voluntary sector workforce trends.
“Charities have been holding their breath on staff cuts in the last quarter, waiting to hear if their contracts with government will be renewed. The next two quarters will be the real test of the state of the sector as they include the end of the financial year,” says Julie Wilkes, Chief Executive of Skills – Third Sector.
“This amounts to increased pressure on labour markets at a time when so many young people need work. But it also places a further burden on the voluntary sector which is increasingly seen as the backstop for public sector cuts.
“We’re setting up National Skills Networks to help the sector to make the most of the skills that remain in the sector through better networking and access to learning opportunities as well as increased employment offers to younger people through our new apprenticeships which will launch later this year.”
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