British charities offer no haven for laid-off bankers

December 4, 2008

How ironic is this? When the financial industry was riding high, many bankers and brokers had no time for charity work. Now that lots of them have been laid off and have the time, Rebekah Curtis reports from London, many can’t find a charity that can use their skills.

It turns out the economic downturn is forcing charities to cut back their own staffs and many can’t find a way to use the skills the laid-off finance wizards are offering. The British international development charity VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) said it received 2,572 enquiries for voluntary work between September and mid-November this year, more than double the 1,233 it received for the same period in 2007, but it could hardly place most of them.

“It’s a shame,” said VSO spokeswoman Catherine Raynor. “People are keen to offer their time and commitment, so it’s never easy to say they’re not right … if you’ve had management experience within your role … rather than very specific financial skills, then we’d love to hear from you.”

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