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The Forum > Article Comments > ‘Community Corps’ has merit if properly devised > Comments

‘Community Corps’ has merit if properly devised : Comments

By Nathaniel Ware, published 1/4/2009

'Community Corps' would enable students to reduce their HECS debt by using their skills working in the not-for-profit sector.

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Nathaniel needs to be commended for his enthusiasm for volutary work and civic participation. However, at the ground level of working with in a charitable organisation that works with homeless youth I find his "scheme" problermatic.

Various organisations provide volunteer placements in charitable organistions or not-for-profit community services. Participation within these settings occurs already and is usaully at the less intensive side of providing assistance to the community. I am thinking of the soup vans and the community visitor programs for those in residential care when I mention this. At the harder end of support, such as intensive case managment or thearaputic counselling, a workers experience and refined skills are needed. As I have seen with many student social workers on placment thses skills are rare in an undergraduate or recent graduate.

Since threre are numerous volunteer organisations already, one must ask why an under/graduate is not already engaged in volunteer work and how a HECS off set scheme would increase participation. I find it hard to see how a HECS debt is onerous. HECS repayment only occurs when a person starts epmplyment at a significant wage and is deducted as tax before it hits your wage packet (or bank as it is these days) . (And yes I do have a HECS debt which I am still paying off). Perhaps if I had a HECS debt related to a Law/Economics degree at current prices it would be different. Consequently I find it hard to see the merit in the Community Corps because the type of volunteer work suited to under/gradautes is already being done and the "over-stretched" charities need more financial and resource support not volunteers who need to be trained up to be suitable for complex work in the welfare sphere.
Posted by Bloodnut, Friday, 3 April 2009 1:40:02 PM
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