Mayor & BT Chairman urge employers to recognise value of volunteering

30 June 2014

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson will join forces with Sir Michael Rake, BT Chairman and President of the CBI, at the BT Tower later today, to urge London businesses to recognise the benefits of volunteering to their staff.


Addressing top bosses at the Tomorrow’s Workforce event, organised by Team London, the Mayor’s volunteering initiative, they will ask companies to view volunteering by prospective employees as valuable experience.


They are also calling on the capital’s firms to allow their employees one day off a year to volunteer, which can boost staff morale and improve a company’s image.


Young people gain valuable experience through volunteering, which can boost their employability and help them onto the jobs ladder. There are over 900,000 16 – 24 year old NEETS (not in education, employment or training) in the capital 



By giving up just a day or two of their time to volunteer, young people can improve their communication skills, self-discipline and ability to work as part of a team; all skills transferable to the workplace.


The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Volunteering is so advantageous to all involved; it gives the capital’s youngsters the chance to develop life enhancing skills, it has a fantastically positive impact on staff who are allowed time off to volunteer, and of course it benefits local communities. We want employers to give their own staff one day off a year to volunteer and to recognise volunteering as solid experience when recruiting young people. Volunteering shows dedication, get-up-and-go, and many other attributes that make up a great employee.”


BT Chairman, Sir Michael Rake, said he was proud that employees at BT can volunteer three working days a year. Last year this equated to 46,000 days of volunteering, which were spent helping more than 13,000 charities and community groups around the world.


"It's important that every company plays its part in ensuring that both London and the UK has a world-class workforce. Volunteering plays a key role in this, improving employability and equipping people with vital new skills, training and the much needed motivation they need to succeed."


"At BT, volunteering helps our people develop new skills, improves employee engagement and gives them a greater awareness about the communities they work in."


CBI London Director, Lucy Haynes: “Volunteering brings significant benefits for businesses and their employees. This call to arms from the Mayor of London and Sir Mike Rake should help raise awareness about these benefits with companies across the capital.”


The high-level event will be attended by top business leaders from blue-chip organisations across a wide range of sectors.


Along with the Mayor and Sir Michael, attendees will hear from Anders Kristiansen, CEO of New Look, and 17 year old volunteer Emmanuella, who have found volunteering mutually advantageous. 

Notes to editors

Team London: Team London is the Mayor of London's ambitious programme to mobilise an army of volunteers across the capital. The aim is to improve life in London through programmes that will reduce crime, increase opportunities for youth and improve quality of life by cleaning and greening London and building stronger neighbourhoods.