Voluntary bodies warn funding decision could hit compact plans

A leading voluntary body has attacked a decision not to create a
body to build the sector’s skills, warning it could
“drive a stake through the heart of the government’s
plans to reform public services with help from voluntary
organisations”, writes Sally

Chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary
Organisations Stuart Etherington said the decision by the Sector
Skills Development Agency, which was set up by the Department for
Education and Skills, demonstrated “blatant disregard for the

Compacts are funding agreements between voluntary organisations
and local authorities first put forward by the government in

Etherington has written to the SSDA expressing disappointment at
the plan, and the decision to cease funding for the NCVO-based
Voluntary Sector National Training Organisation.

The NSNTO has been heavily involved in government plans to
increase the voluntary sector’s involvement in public

Over the past 18 months the SSDA has provided emergency funding
for the NSNTO, the UK’s only body taking a strategic approach
to building skills in the sector, on the understanding that it
would eventually be replaced by a strategic skills body.

Etherington said: “We cannot allow this quango with its
blatant disregard for the compact and ignorance of the nature of
the UK voluntary sector to undermine the thousands of charities and
community organisations working out there.”
A poll by thinktank Demos, conducted last year, found that nine out
of 10 employers supported the establishment of a strategic body to
address skills needs in the sector, and felt it would help recruit
and retain staff.

A spokesperson for the SSDA said it was concerned that the NCVO
had served redundancy notices because it had offered more
short-term funding for the NCVO’s training organisation, but it had
been rejected. She added that the government had made it clear
sector skills councils were only for industry and business sectors
and not occupational ones.

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.