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The Workforce Hub deals with: learning and skills; employment practice; promoting the sector as a positive place to work and volunteer; leadership and management development. Its host and accountable body in England is NCVO.

Helpdesk: 0800 652 5737;

Tel: 020 7520 2490




The Governance and Workforce Hubs will soon commission an evaluation project to establish a single evaluation framework for both the hubs that assesses the performance of each hub and their impact on the third sector.

The Skills for Business Network, in conjunction with the UK Workforce Hub, is moving into a new phase of joint work beginning April 2007. The overall aim is to promote skills development of staff, volunteers and board or committee members in the voluntary and community sector.

A report 'Consortia purchase of Human Resources (HR) support: a feasibility study' has been produced. The study, commissioned jointly by the UK Workforce Hub and NCVO’s Collaborative Working Unit, explores how Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations (VCSOs) that do not have a dedicated HR role, may be able to purchase HR support in other ways.

The Third Sector Leadership Centre has been established by the UK Workforce Hub in partnership with NCVO and acevo. Its objectives are to ensure easier access to leadership development and to promote leadership development.

Good Employment Guide factsheets on the Hub website look at the employment process, from recruiting your first member of staff, drawing up contracts of employment, pay and benefits as well as volunteers and employment. There is also information about where you can find other sources of HR support.

Case studies highlighting good employment practice on recruitment, retention and diversity are also available on the Workforce Hub wesite.

Call or email the free Workforce Hub helpdesk to find the answers to your workforce development questions. Telephone 0800 652 5737 (lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) or email

A report on progress of the Workforce Hub describes achievements, including: three publications; approval and publication of National Occupational Standards for trustees; and financial support for infrastructure organisations in every English region.

Introduction to the UK Workforce Hub

Strong Supporting FrameworkThe UK Workforce Hub’s vision is that voluntary and community organisations have the staff, volunteers and trustees with the diversity of skills and people they need to make an ever-growing contribution to creating a better society. It will work to achieve the following:

  • More people choose to come and work in the sector
  • Staff, volunteers and trustees can continuously develop their skills in a variety of ways
  • People are able to develop their leadership and management skills
  • Voluntary and community organisations find it easy to be good employers and manage their human resources effectively

It recognises the high level objective for 2014 and the interim objectives set by ChangeUp:

'There is a greater range of accessible development opportunities with increased take up of learning opportunities by voluntary and community sector workers. Employers have improved access to support and advice on human resource issues'.

Aims of the UK Workforce Hub

The UK Workforce Hub aims to lead and facilitate action that helps all voluntary and community organisations to:

  • Be great places to work and volunteer
  • Be better employers
  • Embrace a culture of learning and development

How the aims are delivered

  • The hub works in partnership with key organisations from across the sector (such as NAVCA, NIACE, Volunteering England) to develop resources that contribute to the hub achieving its aims
  • The hub is advised and guided by a national committee that brings together people with a broad range of experience and expertise of good employment practice and of learning and skills development for paid staff, volunteers and trustees across the sector. Members are drawn from either frontline or infrastructure organisations so that the committee reflects the breadth and diversity of the sector. There is a national committee in each of the four nations – England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
  • The hub provides information and funding to regional and sub-regional infrastructure organisations, to enable them to reach frontline organisations, especially hard to reach groups, such as BME, rural and faith groups.
  • The hub website serves as a one-stop-shop, providing signposting and resources on workforce development issues.
  • The hub develops and promotes resources which provide organisations with the information they need to be better employers.
  • It promotes the voluntary and community sector as a positive place to work and volunteer, through Working For A Charity’s courses and other resources.
  • The hub works with the Learning and Skills Council, in partnership with Sector Skills Councils, to influence the supply of flexible and affordable learning opportunities for people in the sector.

Organisations, accountable body and staff

The hub is UK-wide, and is hosted by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA), the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA). The accountable body for the hub in England is NCVO.

The three existing workforce functions at NCVO have been incorporated into the hub. They are:

  • the Employment Practice Project, which provides information and resources enabling organisations to be better employers
  • the former VSNTO which develops, promotes and implements National Occupational Standards for the sector
  • Working For A Charity which promotes the voluntary and community sector as a positive career option and runs courses for people interested in working in the sector

The hub is also establishing a leadership centre, in partnership with ACEVO.

The full staff team consists of 16 people – the Head of the Hub, four lead Managers each with responsibility for one aspect of the hub’s work – learning and skills, employment practice, promoting the sector as a positive place to work and volunteer, leadership and management development. They are supported by five Project Officers, two communications staff and 3.5 administrators.


  • The Head of the Hub is on the Active Community Unit Diversity Steering Group, which develops a diversity strategy to make the ChangeUp programme appropriate and accessible for rural, BME and faith groups.
  • The hub has developed a website.
  • Investigating the possibility of developing a specific qualification for finance managers in the VCS with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)


  • Workforce Development definitionGood Employment Guide – published July 2005, this book makes it as easy as possible for VCS organisations to be good employers. It has been very positively received (100% of respondents to evaluation questionnaire had used it or expected to use it in future, 100% thought it would be useful for smaller organisations).
  • Working for a better world – a careers guide for school leavers and graduates considering a career in the sector. Published Nov 2005. Distributed free to school, university and other careers guidance services around the country.
  • As VSNTO, the hub developed National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Fundraisers and Managers of volunteers. NOS are useful tools which can be used to design and deliver training, demonstrate and evaluate competence, identify developmental needs and meet objectives.
  • Following a successful pilot project, the hub rolled out 'train the trainer' workshops to inform organisations about how they can best use the NOS.
  • National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Trustees and Management Committee Members have been rolled out in partnership with the Governance Hub.
  • In partnership with the Hub and other organisations, the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) is developing a competence framework for development officers in infrastructure organisations.
  • NAVCA is also leading on a project to develop a national resource for action learning, building on the work of the Action Learning for Managers project.
  • Working For A Charity is developing an online course on Effective Voluntary Sector Management for people who are thinking of working, or have recently started to work, in the sector.
  • The hub set up a Leadership Centre in partnership with ACEVO.
  • The hub worked on a pilot initiative to encourage Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) members to volunteer their HR expertise with a voluntary or community organisation.  Working in partnership with The Cranfield Trust and REACH, the hub will undertake an evaluation of the programme to capture the key learning.

Business Plan, Key Documents and Links

pointer The Workforce Hub Business Plan Word icon 361k

pointer Business Plan - Summary Word icon 160k

pointer Business Plan - Appendices Word icon 224k

pointer Report on Achievements and Plans (Feb 06) Acrobat icon 46k


Resources for VCS

  • National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Fundraisers and Managers of Volunteers available as hard copies or to download from the hub website.
  • NOS for Trustees and Management Committee Members.
  • The hub produces a range of publications about good employment practice and diversity, including the Good Employment Guide.
  • The hub works with other organisations to source case studies and examples of good practice and make these available through our website.
  • As part of its Foundation Course, Working For A Charity organises short term placements for skilled volunteers in voluntary and community organisations, providing a resource both to organisations and individuals seeking a career change.
  • The hub produces a monthly e-briefing on workforce issues.
  • The hub signposts to other relevant organisations and resources (for example, Sector Skills Councils, ACAS, CIPD)

Relationship of Hub activities with regional and local projects

  • To improve capacity for workforce development at a regional and sub-regional level, the hub offers funds to regional infrastructure organisations to enable them to reach out to frontline organisations, especially those working with hard to reach or marginalised communities.
  • Connecting up with the work of local and regional ChangeUp Consortia.
  • Signposting to resources and examples of good practice at a regional and local level.
  • Consultation with regional and local projects on the best ways to work with them.

Contact details and website

UK Workforce Hub
Regents Wharf
8 All Saints Street
London N1 9RL

Tel: 020 7520 2490
Fax: 020 7713 6300


Helpdesk: 0800 652 5737;


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