If you want a socially-conscious career that has a makes a real, positive difference to people and communities – or to a particular cause – then the charity sector is a the perfect place to start. This industry has lots to offer school leavers, and there are many ways to get into it.

The charity and voluntary sector, often referred to as the 'third sector', the 'not-for-profit sector', the 'community sector' or the 'civic sector', aims to create social rather than material wealth.

In order to make it in the charity sector school leavers will need a genuine passion to improve the world and enable society / causes to succeed. If you'd like to make the world a better place the charity and voluntary sector gives you plenty of opportunity to do so.

Jobs in the charity sector include small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), social enterprises, non-governmental organisations, and large charities such as:

  • Age UK
  • Alzheimer's Society
  • Barnardo's
  • British Red Cross
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Macmillan Cancer Support
  • National Trust
  • Oxfam GB
  • Wellcome Trust

Many charities focus on issues surrounding housing, infrastructure, human rights, community development, international development, health and medicine, and conservation and environment, so the industry is great for those who really want to make a difference.

  • Skills vital for working in charity:
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Commitment and motivation
  • Communication skills
  • Innovation
  • Negotiation and persuasion skills
  • Organisational skills

Charity apprenticeships

While specific charity apprenticeships are being developed – such as a community activator coach programme, to be used by social change charities – school leavers can work in charities in a range of apprenticeship roles, the same as in any other business.

You could work as a payroll assistant or administration apprentice at a charity, for example, or join the communications team and do a relevant apprenticeship there, in roles like: social media assistant, social media analyst, digital account assistant, digital marketing assistant and digital communications officer.



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