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Volunteer FAQs

The following sections answer the most frequent questions we receive from our volunteers.

1. About volunteering at WorldSkills UK LIVE

  • What is a volunteer

    A volunteer is defined as someone who commits time and energy for the benefit of others, who does so freely, through personal choice, and without expectation of financial reward.

  • Why do we need so many volunteers at WorldSkills UK LIVE?

    WorldSkills UK LIVE expects over 73,000 visitors this year, so we need a lot of help to stage it. Ultimately as a volunteer, you will be responsible for ensuring that the event runs smoothly and making sure other volunteers, competitors, visitors, exhibitors and sponsors have a fantastic, memorable experience.

  • What's in it for you?

    As a volunteer you will be a valuable ambassador for our event, acting as the face of WorldSkills UK LIVE. Alongside this, volunteering will look great on your CV and give you experience of helping support and deliver excellent customer service at a national event.

  • What are the benefits of volunteering?

    By volunteering with WorldSkills UK LIVE you will:o Learn and develop new skills

    • Get unique, unrivalled training and work experience for your CV
    • Take part in an exciting national event and see it built, in action and dismantled
    • Receive food and refreshments during your shift
    • Be an ambassador for WorldSkills UK LIVE and wear the branded volunteer clothing
    • Be supported by your volunteer team leader and WorldSkills UK LIVE volunteer team
    • Claim travel expenses of up to £10 per day
    • Meet potential employers and new people
    • Receive a certificate for your contribution
  • Do I need to have volunteering experience?

    No. We have a range of volunteer roles available for people of all levels and experience. All we need from you is enthusiasm, a ‘can do’ attitude, hard work and a high standard of customer service.

2. Your application...

  • How do I apply?

    Online applications will open in summer 2019 so please keep an eye on our webpages for more information. 

  • What happens next?

    We’ll be in touch frequently by email with volunteer updates about the event. We will also confirm your shifts and training dates in October.

  • When does my volunteer training begin?

    Volunteers take part individually or as part of a group, such as a college group. If you are volunteering individually, both training days take place at the NEC Birmingham prior to the event. Your training date will be confirmed by email in October. This session will give you the chance to ask questions  and receive your uniform.

    The second session is an orientation tour which takes place on Wednesday 20 November. Here you will take a tour of the venue to familiarise yourself with the layout and activities taking place during the show. 

  • Can I change my personal details?

    Yes. Just login into your account and change your details as required.

3. Starting your volunteer opportunity...

  • What will I be doing at the event?

    We will allocate you a show volunteer role before the event and send you a confirmation email before your first shift, explaining what your shifts could entail. The show volunteer roles are varied and focus on a range of operational and customer service aspects of event delivery such as:

    • Welcoming and registering visitors.
    • Signposting and guiding visitors around the event.
    • Supporting with specific event features such as spotlight stages or competitions.
    • Behind the scenes catering support and logistics.

    Every role is crucial in ensuring our visitors have the best experience possible at the event, so please come willing to try out various activities and your team leader will explain your responsibilities in more detail at the event.

    If you apply for one of our specialist roles such as Show Build and Breakdown, Team Leader volunteer, Competition Support or Customer support you will be contacted by a member of the team. They can answer any questions you have about the role so you have a clear idea on what the role entails prior to arriving at your onsite training.

  • Where do I need to go?

    As soon as you arrive at the event, please go to the volunteer crew room at the NEC – this will be clearly signposted. You will also receive information about where to go on your first shift when you receive your shift and confirmation email in October.

  • What is the Crew Room?

    The Crew Room is the volunteers’ room at WorldSkills UK LIVE. It’s where volunteers go to register, meet their volunteer team leader, get information about their shifts, receive their uniform, claim expenses, and to ask any questions. You can also sit here during your break.

  • Where do I get my volunteer badge/pass?

    you will be sent an email several weeks before the event with a badge for you to download. Please ensure you do so plenty of time before the event and bring it with you every day you are on site. We will provide a badge holder on your first day

  • When will I meet my volunteer team leader?

    You will meet your team leader when you arrive at the volunteer crew room for your onsite training session.

  • Can I change my role if I don’t enjoy it?

    If you are unhappy in your role just speak to your volunteer team leader and they will see what can be arranged. Please bear in mind that there will be around 2,000 shifts running throughout the whole event process and this may not always be possible.

  • Can I change my shifts?

    Yes. You can change your shift before the application deadline in October 2019. Once the application deadline has passed you will need to email your request directly to the volunteering team at

  • Can I cancel my shift?

    Yes. But please give us as much notice as possible. Please email us at to let us know you cannot attend your shift or call 020 3740 8223.

  • I am running late for my volunteering shift, what should I do?

    As your role is crucial to the event, being late causes problems for the volunteer team and may impact on the smooth delivery of WorldSkills UK LIVE. We ask that you try not to be late but if your shift has started by the time you arrive, we will do our best to allocate you another role. Please bear in mind that there will be times when we are unable to do this but we do ask that you always turn up for your shift, even if you are late

  • I can’t make my shift, what do I do?

    Please contact your team leader as soon as possible to ensure we are able to replace your role for the day with another volunteer. Please email us at  to let us know you cannot attend your shift or call 020 3740 8223.

  • Can I leave my shift early?

    We understand that volunteers need to leave early on occasion so please let your volunteer team leader know at the start of your shift if this is the case. We will do our best to accommodate you.

  • Why do we need a volunteer uniform?

    The volunteer uniform makes sure you are recognisable in a crowd and seen as part of our prestigious volunteering team. It also helps other volunteers recognise you as part of the team. More information about the uniform will be available nearer the event.

  • When do I get my uniform?

    You’ll get your volunteer uniform at your training session at the NEC Birmingham.

  • Are shoes and trousers provided?

    No. You will need to wear dark trousers or skirts and comfortable shoes; trainers are acceptable. If your shifts fall during the event build and breakdown of the event, we will provide you with safety shoes to wear on site (so please remember to wear thick socks!).

  • What do I do if I have a problem with other volunteers?

    Please report this immediately to your volunteer team leader.

  • What do I do with my personal belongings?

    There will be no facilities to store personal belongings at WorldSkills UK LIVE. Therefore we strongly advise that you leave all personal valuable items at home, as we will not be held responsible for their safe keeping while you volunteer at the event.

  • What do I do if I lose any of my personal belongings?

    Please report any lost items to your volunteer team leader as soon as you realise they are missing. They will help you track down the missing item to the best of their ability or will report the missing items to the NEC security team who will take the matter further if the items are not found. WorldSkills UK LIVE strongly advises volunteers to leave all personal belongings of value at home.

  • Where do I go to eat?

    Catering points within the NEC Birmingham will be clearly signposted for volunteers. You will be told during your onsite training session which catering points you are allowed to use as a volunteer.

  • I have a medical condition/allergy – who should I tell?

    Along with indicating that you have a medical condition on your online registration, it is also very important that you inform your volunteer team leader of any medical conditions or concerns you may have, so that they can help you if you become ill.

    In addition, please do let us know if you require any assistance to perform your role. Please highlight this when you register online, so that we can ensure we support you appropriately and allocate you a suitable role.

  • What time do I need to arrive?

    Please arrive on site at least 30 minutes before your allocated shift. The NEC is very large and are about a 20 minute walk from the train station and car park and you will need to register on arrival, so please allow plenty of time for this.

4. Travel, accommodation and expenses

  • How do I get to the NEC Birmingham?

    The NEC Birmingham is accessible by road, or train. The closest train station is Birmingham International Rail Station. See further details on how to get to NEC.

  • Do you cover my expenses?

    We will pay up to £10 per day for your travel to and from the event. You will only be able to claim this by providing a receipt or proof of your travel. All expenses must be claimed with a receipt attached to them and counter signed by a volunteer team leader. Expense claims for volunteers will be handed out by team leaders and the volunteer finance team will deal with any inquiries onsite.

    College students volunteering with their college will claim any travel costs back through their college and will not be eligible to receive reimbursement by WorldSkills UK LIVE.

  • How do I claim back my expenses?

    We will pay up to £10 per day, for volunteers travelling to and from the event. You will only be able to claim this by providing a receipt or proof of your travel which must be stapled to your expense claim form.

    You will be given an expense claim and this must be completed and counter signed by a team leader before being handed into the volunteer finance team at the end of your last shift. You will then receive payment into you bank account after the show has finished.

    WorldSkills UK LIVE can only make payments into a UK bank account so please bring your bank account details with you when you wish to complete the form. WorldSkills UK LIVE will aim to have your account reimbursed 2 weeks after WorldSkills UK LIVE.

  • Will I be offered accommodation?

    No. Accommodation will not be provided for show team volunteers. We only provide accommodation for some team leaders who have to start their shifts at 7am and volunteer for the duration of the event, including the build and breakdown of the event from  17th -24th November 2019

5. Completing your volunteer experience

  • What do I do with my uniform?

    We will give you your uniform at your training session on site at the NEC Birmingham. It is your responsibility to look after your uniform throughout your volunteer experience and is then yours to take home and keep.

    If you are volunteering for more than one day, we ask that you ensure your uniform is kept clean to ensure you look professional every day that you're volunteering. 

  • What do I do with my safety boots?

    If you are volunteering during the build or breakdown phase, we will give you a pair of boots when you register in the morning for your shift. These are yours for the day but need to be handed back to your volunteer team leader at the end of your shift.

  • Will I receive a reference after the event?

    Unfortunately we can’t provide individual references for show team volunteers. However we will provide you with a certificate and a thank you letter which you can use as evidence for future employers.

  • When do I get my certificate?

    We will post your certificate to you as soon as possible after the event finishes. Please ensure your postal address is up to date and allow 2 weeks for the post to reach you.