In interesting student news, Young Academic has today learnt of a new qualification set to accredit hundreds of young volunteers looking to start work abroad. Thanks to a new partnership between the Harper Adams University College and VSO, the qualification will look to accredit the work of 18-22 year international volunteers on the Global Xchange programme as well as VSO trainees.
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“Global Xchange carries out work placements, structured training, study days and community action days through which volunteers will be awarded the highly-accredited Foundation Certificate.”
VSO volunteers often look at working between three months and two years in disadvantaged countries fighting for the under-privileged. On completion of a pre-departure training VSO volunteers will be awarded with the newly-validated University College Foundation Certificate in Professional Skills for International Development which is sure to set young volunteers head of the rest when looking for international voluntary work.
The partnership between Harper-Adams and VSO was secured thanks to two University College employees who have a long-standing link with the volunteer organisation. The partnership will look at accrediting the work of young volunteers between the age of 18 and 22 on the Global Xchange programme as well as training through VSO itself. Global Xchange carries out work placements, structured training, study days and community action days through which volunteers will be awarded the highly-accredited Foundation Certificate.
Under the first strand of accreditation, Harper Adams is expected to reward the training of professionally-skilled volunteers from a range of sectors including education, health, IT, business and fundraising, all of which VSO are currently recruiting in. Volunteers under this programme have an average age of 42 and they range from retired senior managers to a small number of recent graduates.
The second strand is accreditation through the Global Xchange programme. A partnership between VSO and British Council, the programme forms a significant part of the UK Government’s pilot International Citizen Service Scheme. Six months in length, up to 60 participants are expected to be accredited with the certificate this year. The programme brings together 20 young people from the UK and a developing country to live, learn and volunteer together in a UK and host community.
One of the volunteers involved on the programme has said: ‘I think this is a great idea. I was already considering taking a course in international development … and am delighted to be offered the opportunity through VSO. I believe that the practical experience that volunteers gain in the field means they have much to offer in the debate on international development this provides the ideal opportunity to further develop their knowledge and skills in this area.”
To learn more about the Foundation Certificate or about either of the programmes hop over to the Harper Adams website and follow our tweets @youngacademic to keep up-to-date on all your relevant student news.