Lost your job in banking and decided to commit some time to the general good? VSO is probably not the place to do it.
Although The Times says VSO is in dire need of additional volunteers because its existing candidates are getting cold feet about mortgage payments and re-employment, ex-bankers are not being asked to fill the gap.
We called VSO to enquire whether they are benefitting from the flood of highly skilled, highly intelligent financial services staff coming onto the market.
The answer appears to be no. A spokeswoman for the organisation confirmed that applications from financial services types have already gone up in the past few months and the last thing they need is even more of the same.
“We have 1,000 placements a year, but only 10 of them are for people with a financial services background. Most of the jobs are very low-level work, like encouraging a business in Ghana to save its receipts,” she says.
Instead of former bankers, most VSO roles go to teachers and health workers. The organisation also offers 250 ‘business and management’ positions a year, but most of these apparently go to people who’ve previously worked in the public sector or for a charity.
It’s not all doom. The spokeswoman said ex-bankers might be of interest if only they had experience of a “broader range of management skills, such as strategic planning, establishing and managing systems, managing staff and monitoring and evaluation”.
We pointed out that this might well be the case. So, if you’re truly committed to applying, it’s probably best to emphasise your managerial attributes before reeling off all the deals you’ve worked on recently.