Foundations for the third sector

Foundations for the third sector

‘F4S3’ is a European project aiming to upskill new employees in the voluntary sector by developing an entry-level induction training programme.

WCVA is working with partners across Europe to ease the path for new employees in voluntary organisations as part of the Erasmus+ ‘Foundation 4 Sector 3’ (F4S3) project.

The European voluntary sector is a major economic sector with around 13 million full-time equivalent workers, as well as 16 million volunteers. The European economy and much of our social and civic support relies heavily on a healthy sector that has the ability to attract and retain high quality talent.

Many staff working in the sector have short-term contracts, are poorly paid and have limited possibilities to upskill themselves. The F4S3 project addresses the need to combat staff turnover, burnout, and unclear pathways to career progression and mobility within the sector.


F4S3 provides an entry-level induction programme for staff entering the voluntary sector. This programme will be an introduction to the sector with an emphasis on personal development and core sector-specific skills. By using digital badges we can validate the skills gained by participants of the programme and allow them to be used for both personal development and career progression.

By the end of the project a transfer plan will be devised to ensure that the material can be utilised after the project finishes.

The programme will be delivered in all partner countries by the local partner. The programme will use a blended learning approach with both face-to-face and online learning. Training will be learner focused with training needs analysis conducted in advance of training. 


The benefits of the project will be:

  1. It will make the participants more confident and effective at their jobs in voluntary organisations and give them validated skills which will support them in their career progression
  2. It will help voluntary organisations with the induction process of new staff members and wellbeing at work
  3. The materials produced by F4S3 will be made available across Europe after the end of the project 


The Foundation 4 Sector 3 project (2020 – 2022) is funded by the Erasmus+ programme.

Outputs and timetable: 

  • Developing the programme training, content and skills validation system, and training the trainers (from December 2021 to November 2021)
  • Two lots of programme pilots (between December 2021 and June 2022)
  • Writing a transfer strategy plan and report (from July to November 2022)


Visit the project website at

F4S3 LOGO Logo with the word Erasmus+