10 May 2013

The latest intelligence charting the voluntary sector's workforce since 2001 is now available online at UK Voluntary Sector Workforce Almanac 2013.

TSRC has been working with Skills- Third Sector and NCVO to produce this easy-to-use website, which draws on a decade of authoritative data to explore how the sector’s workforce has changed.

Fifteen themes explore the main traits of voluntary sector employment, including its size, characteristics, working conditions, and the levels of skills and training across the sector.

Key findings from the latest research include:

  • The voluntary sector’s workforce has decreased from 765,000 in the previous year to 732,000 in 2011. But the sector now employs more of the UK workforce than a decade ago, up from 2% to 2.6%.
  • The workforce is concentrated within health and social care organisations, with over six in ten employed in ‘health and social work’, and more than one-third of these employed in ‘social work activities without accommodation’.
  • The majority of the voluntary sector’s workforce is female. In 2011, 501,000 women were employed in the sector alongside 231,000 men. More than two-thirds (68%) of the workforce are women, contrasting with around one-third (39%) in the private sector.
  • Part-time work is a significant part of voluntary sector employment, with two-fifths (40%) employed part-time, a higher proportion than within the public and private sectors (30% and 25% respectively). Around half (47%) of women employed in the voluntary sector work part-time compared to almost a quarter (24%) of men.
  • Pay remains lower in the voluntary sector, with average weekly pay of £374, lower than in both the private and public sectors (£458 and £478 respectively).
  • Voluntary sector employees are highly qualified. Almost four in ten (38%) hold a degree level qualification or higher and more than seven in every ten (72%) hold an A Level qualification, its equivalent or higher.
  • 15% of voluntary sector employers report skills gaps, with the biggest gaps in administrative/clerical staff (33%) and managers (28%).