Charity and volunteering

Do you want to make a difference to your community? Does your passion lie with campaigning to make a difference to the society that we live in, not only today but also for the future? Do you want to work for an organisation that helps disadvantaged people? Then an apprenticeship in the charity and volunteering sector could be the perfect opportunity for you. This sector, also known as the voluntary sector, consists of a range of charities and organisations that exist to help the local, national and, in some cases, the international community.

Examples of such organisations include Macmillan Cancer Support, Children in Need, Comic Relief, Unicef and Oxfam. As well as the large charities, more than 50% of the sector consists of small organisations that help the local community. For example, there may be a small organisation in your area that is helping to regenerate the community, or providing services for disadvantaged people.

There is a huge variety of paid employment available and there is currently a demand for apprenticeships within this sector. These apprenticeships have been specifically developed and tailored for three professional roles within the voluntary sector: fundraising, campaigning and volunteer management.

By undertaking an apprenticeship within one of these areas, you will develop the necessary skills to provide you with a great start in a career within this sector. The skills you learn will also give you the opportunity to work in the voluntary sector permanently, meaning you can play a big part in achieving real changes in society.

If you are already employed by a voluntary sector organisation, completing an apprenticeship will further enhance your CV by recognising your learning and development through nationally accredited qualifications. It also offers you the opportunity to professionalise your job roles through recognised learning.

The ability to complete functional skills in English, Maths and ICT, along with an interest in the work of charities, social enterprises or voluntary and community organisations, is the only entry requirement for these apprenticeships.

A career in this sector can be very challenging but extremely rewarding.

At a glance

  • There are over 793,000 paid jobs in the charity sector
  • More than half of the charity sector is made up of small organisations that help the local community
  • A career in the charity sector can be very demanding but also very rewarding

Industry figures taken from


  • A passion to make a difference—to the community, to society and to help disadvantaged people
  • Enjoy working with people
  • Be able to manage your time effectively and juggle lots of different roles
  • Good awareness of local and national issues

Useful contacts

Fair Train—Group training association for charities and not-for-profit businesses

Skills CFAIssuing authority for business-related apprenticeships

Charity Job—Apprenticeships and jobs in the charity sector

The Institute of Fundraising

The Association of Volunteer Managers

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