A picture of working life in Scotland’s third sector

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28th January 2015 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

Some people want to be rich and famous, others want to change the world; some get joy out of helping people, while many just want any job to pay the bills. Although people working in Scotland’s third sector are unlikely to achieve the first of these goals, the rest should be easily achievable. But are they?

Disappointingly, there are a number of third sector organisations that continue to pay below the living wage and employ people on zero hours contracts. Their staff may struggle to pay their bills, even if they do get satisfaction from doing their job.

A large number of people in the third sector work in social care or other front-line client facing roles. Most will be motivated by the desire to help people, yet a lot end up suffering from burn out because their case loads are too high or they don’t get the right support for the work they do.

Many people working for Scottish charities and voluntary organisations relish the opportunity to work in a vibrant, creative environment

Campaigners want to save the world from climate change, inequality, disease and poverty but tight budgets mean they don’t always have access to training on the new digital tools and technologies that can get their message out to the masses.

On the other hand, many people working for Scottish charities and voluntary organisations relish the opportunity to work in a vibrant, creative environment. They know they are lucky to have the autonomy to build innovative campaigns and services that are making people’s lives better on a daily basis, both locally and globally.

Creating a full picture of who works in the third sector in Scotland and what their working conditions are like will ensure that those areas where the third sector is lagging behind can be tackled and those where it is taking a lead celebrated.

This is why TFN and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations have created the Working in the third sector 2015 survey. By filling in the survey, you and your colleagues will help to build a full picture of life in Scotland’s third sector.

The headline results will published in TFN at the Gathering in Glasgow at the end of February.