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Prime Minister launches new scheme to get more people volunteering during the recession

Prime Minister launches new scheme to get more people volunteering during the recession

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 21 July 2009

The Prime Minister announced today the Government’s support for a new scheme designed to get more people volunteering during the recession.

The National Talent Bank is part of the Government’s comprehensive approach to tackling the recession and is designed to ‘share the talent' between the private, public and third sector.

Developed by the Prime Minister's Council on Social Action, The National Talent Bank will act as an intermediary between companies, who are reducing their working hours, frontline volunteering opportunities, and third sector organisations who are best placed to deploy this newly-available talent into effective use in the community.

The scheme will target employers who are releasing employees for a fixed period, reducing the working week, deferring the start dates for new recruits, but still paying them, or retaining staff whose posts have been made redundant.

Gordon Brown, Prime Minister, said:

"The Government will do all it can to support this very British tradition of volunteering, and National Talent Bank will make it easier for people with valuable skills to volunteer and put their abilities to good use. Volunteers themselves benefit, as do the people they help and the country as a whole. So I welcome the National Talent Bank and wish it every success."

Tessa Jowell, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said:

“Volunteering doesn’t just help disadvantaged groups and communities; it also gives valuable skills to the volunteer, helping them to gain confidence and expand their own CV.

“The National Talent Bank is a great way to build relationships between charities, private companies and the public sector. I hope that many more organisations will take part in the scheme so that thousands more people can realise the benefits that volunteering can have on them and their community.”

The National Talent Bank, designed to support existing volunteering programmes to provide additional real help to businesses and individuals affected by the recession, will run initially for twelve months.

Later today, Minister for the Third Sector, Angela Smith and Dame Julia Cleverdon will publish the Building Stronger Communities Taskforce’s report. The report identifies the ways in which private and third sector organisations can work in partnership together to make a practical difference to those communities facing new challenges and most at risk of fracture, thereby becoming stronger and more resilient through the downturn.

Notes to editors

For more information email

In attendance at today’s launch were representatives from Prudential, Allen & Overy and Accenture.

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