What’s it like in government? We can help set up your own ‘day in the life’

Applications are open for the seventh year of NCVO’s ‘A Day in the Life’ work shadowing programme, that pairs staff from government departments with counterparts from the voluntary sector, giving each the chance to shadow the other in their work place. Participation is free for voluntary sector staff.

The scheme is a unique opportunity for voluntary sector staff and civil servants to experience the work of the other in practice and the context within which they operate. It opens up personal and organisational connections that can last much longer than the two days participants spend with each other, and helps foster co-operation and understanding between our respective sectors.

Who takes part?

We welcome applications from across the voluntary sector; anyone with permission from their employer can participate. Staff from all levels of seniority and all types of role are invited. The departments taking part for the 2017/18 programme are:

  • Cabinet Office
  • Department for Communities and Local Government
  • Department for Culture, Media and Sport
  • Department for Education
  • Department of Health
  • Home Office

Applicants are able to specify their preferred departments and the areas of work they’re interested in – such as policy or research.

2016/17 feedback

Last year, the scheme matched over 230 voluntary sector employees with staff from 7 government departments, and of the voluntary sector evaluation participants whose shadowing day took place:

  • 97% felt that the programme was very or quite worthwhile
  • 84% felt that taking part had increased their knowledge of how a government department operates on a day-to-day basis
  • 84% felt that their organisation should take part in the scheme this year

You can also read more detailed feedback from voluntary sector staff.

How to apply

Applications are free to all VCS organisations in England, and the deadline for applications is 3 November. You can get more information and apply at www.ncvo.org.uk/workshadow. There’s a list of frequently asked questions too, but if you need any more information, do drop us a line to workshadow@ncvo.org.uk.

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Michael Birtwistle Michael is our senior policy officer, covering issues around charity tax and finance (including social investment) and the impact of the economy on the sector.

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