Thursday, 19 March 2009

Jobs,, Gongs and sector blues

Well , in fact Kevin Brennan MP was not wearing a shamrock at the Book Launch . Though he did have a green tie . Just as Obama did ! But I in fact was sporting my shamrock ; picked up some at Stockwell tube station no less. Was looking a bit bedraggled by the time I got to the Board meeting of Futurebuilders that evening .

I have to say that the Board non exec directors at Futurebuilders are an impressive lot. Strong contributions . No waffle . A lot of business conducted in a 2 hour session .A good recruitment by our favourite search consultant David Fielding , now leading the Third sector team at Tribal . But also may have something to do with an efficient Chair; or we shall see what Directors think as we are having a Board and Chair appraisal process . I will be marked by my colleagues , always an interesting process.

But the key news is the unemployment figures going over 2 million , and with all the indications we will move to 3 m soon . In that context the role of the Third Sector in a major job creation programme becomes ever more pressing . We are following up with DWP the ideas from the informal report I submitted to James Purnell MP. I have now talked through these ideas with Liam Byrne MP too . I think the unique mix of both jobs and full time volunteering opportunities is what the country needs and the sector can offer .

Tom Flood and Rupert Evenett ( respectively CEO and Chair) of BTCV , the largest green volunteering charity have ambitious plans for a "green army " of volunteers , up to 500,000 to tackle environmental works like parks and open apace regeneration to , home energy and security support for communities. The BBC do a great piece covering this story after we release the plans and ideas in an ACEVO press release .

This work is important and rather puts in perspective a dismal story in Third Sector magazine about the demise of the Third Sector Leadership Centre . I do regret that NCVO decided that they wanted to carry it forward themselves. I always thought this was a good example of us working together , so it is sad to see it ending in such a way . The reality of the breakdown is that 3 people lose their jobs and a great joint initiative that both NCVO and ACEVO worked on has ended.I still do not understand why NCVO decided not to consult us properly and then to end the partnership by submiting plans on their own.

Our members have the right to expect better . And in a testing time for members it is a bad example to set. So acevo and ncvo need to learn lessons . The irony of the front cover of Third Sector carrying this story alongside a piece about research from the Charity Commission on the need for collaboration will not have been lost. My only hope is that we botho learn lessons rather than indulging in a finger pointing orgy . I am discussing with my Chair what we need to do in acevo to learn and to move forward. I am sure that Stuart will be doing the same .

And I end today with a 3 hour session of the Honours Committee for local government and the voluntary sector where we are making our recommendations for the Queen's Birthday Honours . A good spread of names from our sector . the Honours system is a great way to acknowledge and support the heroes in public life .I wish more people in our sector would put names forward . I always think it is a privilege to serve on this committee and to help advise on the recommendations for our people. It is a good committee , with the Permanent secretaries from 5 government departments as well as a range of non executives like me . the process is easier and less secretive than you might think . Go to the Honours section on the Cabinet Office Website for details.

3 comments:

Janet F said...

Stephen,
ref the acevo/ncvo spat;

How can you say...
"My only hope is that we both learn lessons rather than indulging in a finger pointing orgy"...
in the paragraph directly after you clearly point the finger at ncvo by saying...
"I still do not understand why NCVO decided not to consult us properly and then to end the partnership by submiting plans on their own"...?

Is your hope that this lesson-learning happens only AFTER you've first pointed the finger?

samuel said...

Very nice post dear. Keep it up well done.
Samuel Peterson from Job Listing

Aji said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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