Volunteering as forming factor of work-readiness for students of socially oriented specialization
Due to the situation with military conflict on the South-Eastern part of Ukraine, training of social workers who can effectively implement social policy is an acute issue. One of the characteristics of the social sphere specialist is work-readiness, which is a result of professional development and education in the university. Volunteering practices becomes one of the key components of vocational training for young specialists.
The research goal is to find out how participation in volunteer activities affects the formation of readiness of social work students for professional activities.
An integrated questionnaire on the work-readiness of social work students has been developed for the study. The questionnaire has been based on the methodologies of questionnaire conduction by Eleonora Illaryonova and Nelli Menshykova (Illaryonova, Menshykova, 1991). It includes the following tasks for students: to answer closed and open questions, to complete sentences. The research covered 30 third- and fourth-year students of social work, the half of them practiced volunteering as the members of voluntary sector «Student’s heart» (Zaporizhzhia) and the other one did not practice.
According to the study’s result, students-volunteers have a positive attitude about their life, future, as well as high-level confidence that they have a professional skill more than students who did not practice volunteering. The study showed that volunteering had a positive impact on all components of student’s work-readiness: «internal readiness», positive view of future, experience in social work practice. Moreover, we indicated the conditions under which the volunteer activities will contribute to the work-readiness: the system of education for volunteers, the link between the content of volunteer activities and chosen specialty, the demand-oriented character of volunteer activity. Taking into account these features in the organization of the student volunteer movement at university will give a qualitative and comprehensive effect of volunteering. The further research is planned to be devoted to the volunteering impact directly on the students’ employment process, in particular the research among graduate students on determining the role of volunteer experience, skills, competencies and knowledge gained during volunteering, in their further employment.
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