Government to review voluntary sector skills

The Government will launch a review into leadership and skills in the voluntary sector to identify the challenges of developing talent in charities and social enterprises.

Dame Mary Marsh, founding director of the Clore Social Leadership Programme, has been appointed to lead the review, which will examine whether or not there is enough support in place for voluntary organisations to meet future challenges, such as delivering more public services. A key focus will be how private-sector businesses can offer expertise on developing skills.

The announcement follows the publication of a paper by the Cabinet Office aimed at making it easier to set up and run voluntary organisations, including efforts to enhance skills and capability.

Marsh, who also spent eight years as chief executive of the NSPCC, said there was an urgent need for the voluntary sector to gain new skills to lead in a “radically changed context”.

“This review must help us focus on the most urgent gaps in our capability and find smart ways of overcoming them,” she said.

Skills Third Sector, a charity that supports the development of staff in voluntary organisations, said that Marsh’s appointment was the most significant recent step in developing skills in the sector.

Keith Mogford, chief executive of Skills Third Sector, said: “We hope this review will enable our sector to improve our approaches to attraction, retention and development of high quality skills and leadership – this is essential to the sector being able to tackle the challenges of a changing environment head on.”

A report on the findings is expected in spring 2013.

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