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Introducing the voluntary sector
Introducing the voluntary sector

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2.2 The workforce

People arranged in circles.
Figure 4 Working in voluntary organisations

In Week 7 you will find out more about the volunteering ‘workforce’ but here the focus is on the paid workforce. According to NCVO (2015a):

  • 821,000 people work in the voluntary sector in the UK, and this number tends to increase every few years
  • 66% of the workforce is female (similar to the public sector but much more than the private sector)
  • 20% of the workforce has a disability (similar to the public sector)
  • 8% of employees are from black and ethnic minority groups (similar to the public sector)
  • 38% of the workforce is over 50 (more than both public and private sectors).

Next you look at the contribution of the sector – which adds to the picture of size but is about its contribution in monetary terms. Of course, the sector makes a contribution in other ways – in terms of helping others, building social capital, improving quality of life and so on – but these are difficult to measure for official statistics.