In National Volunteers’ Week, WorldSkills UK Volunteer and Alumni Manager Thomas Shirt celebrates the charity’s volunteers and explains why they make such a vital contribution.
Last November, our army of enthusiastic volunteers were ready and eager to welcome the first of over 72,000 visitors to WorldSkills UK LIVE, the UK’s largest experiential careers event.
Nothing made me prouder than seeing legions of young people clad in vibrant yellow hoodies positioned across the NEC Birmingham. From waving foam fingers in the connecting train station and giving directions, to waiting eagerly by each entrance ready to welcome, to answering any questions thrown at them from the thousands of attendees, to handing out event guides, they did a phenomenal job of helping wherever and whenever they could throughout the three-day event.
Simply put, WorldSkills UK LIVE would not function without our incredible and passionate volunteers. They are often the first friendly face any attendee will see, they provide a vital source of information for those in need and a final goodbye for the inspired young people departing into the Birmingham afternoon ready to take the next step in their career journey.
I believe it is so important to offer volunteering opportunities to enthusiastic young people who are motivated to gain experience and help others. With the employability landscape being more competitive than ever, volunteering for WorldSkills UK LIVE offers a great chance for students to gain valuable experience.
Our volunteers mainly come from colleges across the West Midlands and the students have the opportunity to complete over 20 hours towards their placements while also learning vital skills that will benefit them in their future careers. Our recent survey showed that following their volunteering experience 93 per cent of our volunteers had improved confidence and 91 per cent reported they had improved their leadership skills.
Last year we had over 400 young people volunteering to help make WorldSkills UK LIVE such a positive experience for the thousands who attended. Thank you to every single one of you, we couldn’t have done it without you!
One of our volunteers put it best when they said:
Being involved in World Skills UK LIVE is a honour. It becomes a part of you and you help to shape the lives of those who look forward to the future. You help make up what will be the world in years to come.
Interested in volunteering with us? Keep an eye on our website for upcoming opportunities.