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Dragons' Den's James Caan is driving force behind youth volunteering awards scheme

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James Caan has launched a new awards scheme to recognise the volunteering achievements of 16 to 25 year-olds.

The entrepreneur and star of the BBC's Dragons' Den programme has joined forces with national youth volunteering organisation V to communicate to employers the ways in which young people who volunteer develop skills, commitment and potential to be valuable employees.

According to research from V, 69% of employers have done voluntary work and, of these, more than half state volunteering gave them people skills, which helped them get where they are today and 43% believe volunteering gives staff an opportunity to gain extra skills.

Cann said: "We need to communicate to business that this is an opportunity that will help them. I think as employers we do have a responsibility to give young people a chance in the work place."

There are two categories of award: one for young people who have carried out more than 50 hours of volunteering and another for those who have done more than 100 hours. V is calling on employers to support its work by recognising volunteering as an engagement tool.