Volunteering for the Unemployed
Finding a job can be time-consuming, and in some cases it can take a long time to find something that’s right for you. Volunteering is a unique way to focus on something positive but that also allows you the time you need to look for work.
You can volunteer while searching for a job and your jobseekers’ payment will not be affected, as long as you remain available to take up paid employment (see below).
Some good reasons to volunteer while unemployed:
- It keeps your skills sharp – it’s important to keep using your valuable skills to ensure they’re not rusty when you start a new job
- Boost your CV – employers view volunteering as valuable experience and it can be a great addition to your CV. Volunteering also shows you are proactive about your personal development.
- Build your networks – volunteering helps you expand your professional networks and contacts, which will be helpful in your job search.
If you would like guidance to help focus your search, we are here to help. Please contact us to make an appointment with our Placement Support Team.
This appointment is not an interview. It is an informal chat to register you for our service and learn more about your skills, interests and career direction. At the end of the appointment, our aim is to have you leave with a clearer sense of how volunteering can help with your employability.
Volunteering and Social Welfare payments
The jobseeker or voluntary organisation/group involved should complete a VW1 application form (available on this page) and submit this to their local office of the Department of Social Protection. The Deciding Officer will determine whether the jobseeker may take up the volunteer opportunity in question without affecting entitlement to the jobseekers payment.
Read full details of the Voluntary Work Option.
Please note that the requirement for those in receipt of JB/A or Covid PUP to complete a VW1 form has been lifted for the period of the Covid emergency provisions, however if your volunteering period is likely to extend past this, it is advisable that you complete and submit this form.