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The University of Southampton
Sociology, Social Policy and CriminologyPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

‘How effective is youth volunteering as an employment strategy’ – New article Professor Pauline Leonard

Published: 28 February 2020

Professor Pauline Leonard, Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology together with colleagues Professor Bryony Hoskins (Roehampton University) and Dr Rachel Wilde (Institute of Education, University College London) has published a new article in Sociology investigating the effectiveness of volunteering as a route into paid work for young people. ‘How effective is youth volunteering as an employment strategy?: A mixed methods study of England’ combines both quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse data from the Citizenship Education Longitudinal Survey. The article 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. Volunteering can even have a negative effect on employment. Furthermore, social class mediates access to the volunteering opportunities most likely to convert into employment. They 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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