The value of voluntary labour in New Zealand was estimated in the Johns Hopkins research to be $3.31 billion for the year ended March 2004.
“Clever businesses are working with the Sector to make sure they retain capability and care for their workforces. To lay people off is a short term fix. We will come out of this recession. If we want to be a healthy and wealthy country we need to focus on keeping our communities productive and future-proofing our communities.”
Tim Burns of Volunteering NZ says, “There are great examples of overseas companies doing it differently. One is Caterpillar in the UK, which closed down one of their factories for a period of time and kept their staff on full pay while allowing them to do voluntary community work and training and upskilling. It is this kind of innovative thinking that will help New Zealand be well positioned in the future.”
“Internationally, organisations are recognising that volunteer opportunities provide valuable work skills and experiences for people while they are seeking paid employment as well as staying connected to the working environment.”
“The Government has an opportunity to show leadership here by thinking creatively and using all their resources. The Wellington workshop showed the Community and Voluntary Sector are absolutely ready for that conversation. But it won’t work if Government and Business keep excluding the Sector from the table,” he says.