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volunteering and employment

Services to connect people to employment opportunities

Can volunteering benefit me in finding paid employment?

The benefits of voluntary work are enormous. Volunteering is a great experience and can help you acquire a new set of skills and knowledge that could help you get the paid job you are looking for. By volunteering you can build a wide range of soft and hard skills – including teamwork, problem solving or communication skills. You may want to learn new practical skills like operating a till, designing a website, update IT skills or honing customer service skill. By doing voluntary work, you can get the great experiences for your CV and as real life examples to use in interviews. Basically, volunteering helps you transition to working again.

Another benefit of volunteering is meeting new people and building professional connections. Research shows that volunteers have more job related satisfaction with life compared to those who don’t volunteer. Whether you are under 25 and starting out on your career or older and looking to change work or return to work after some time, volunteering really can help you gain confidence and knowledge, explore possibilities, build friendships and help you stand out from the crowd.

Studies show there are six primary motivations for volunteering:

  • Values (to express values related to altruistic and concerns for others)
  • Understanding (to acquire new learning experiences and/or exercise skills that might otherwise go unused)
  • Social (to strengthen relationships); career (to gain career related experience)
  • Protection (to reduce negative feelings about oneself or address personal problems)
  • Enhancement (to grow and develop psychologically)

Advantages of having volunteer experiences

  • Give you a chance to try out different types of work
  • Learn new skills
  • Update existing skills and experience
  • Boost confidence
  • Get content for your CV
  • Help you learn new skills
  • Gain a reference for your CV

While volunteering, the Department of Work and Pensions are fully supportive of volunteering. Read about volunteering and claiming benefits by downloading the guide in the downloads box opposite (or below on a mobile device). Still asking why you should volunteer? Our team can guide you on the benefits of volunteering. You can contact the team by calling 0131 561 8322 or email

Employability drop-in

If you’re interested, you can join an Employability Drop-In sessions and discuss volunteering with one of our Voluntary Work Coaches. We will also guide you through creating and updating your CV; applications forms; searching for employment and volunteering opportunities; and contacting organisations.

Our Employability Drop-ins are held every Monday from 2.00pm until 4.00pm and you do not need to make an appointment.


If you want to volunteer to improve your health and employability but it’s difficult to get out of the house to access the right help? VolChat Employability Coaching Sessions is a new online chat platform using Zoom to help you engage and make the first tentative steps towards employment.

  • Meet us online
  • Tell us what you need help on
  • Get quick advice on work



If you want to find out more about the service, contact us via email at; via text at 07505 446 024 or via phone at
0131 225 0630. You can also find an additional guidance here.


* VolChat is a pilot project created and delivered by Volunteer Edinburgh with support from Voice Your Choice Edinburgh, Community Choices Scotland, and the Scottish Government. VolChat © 2018, all rights reserved.