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The volunteer engineer: gaining skills abroad [valuing volunteering]

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This paper presents the results of a research conducted by the Chartered Management Institute and the international development agency Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). The study shows that individuals who volunteer internationally develop expertise that addresses UK skills gap. It also shows that even though employers are quick to recognize the value of volunteering, individuals do not always market their new skills sufficiently when they return home. Based on interviews with 100 former VSO volunteers, it was found that international experience has a significant impact on skills development. A total of 80% believed they returned with expertise that they would not have gained in the UK. Almost all volunteers said they were now more capable of handling different cultures while three-quarters suggested they became better communicators.

Published in:

Engineering Management Journal  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 3 )