More than 3,000 young people have gained valuable work experience and career-related skills while volunteering at The Skills Show in the past four years, since the first event was held in November 2012.
And as applications open for those wishing to become Volunteer Team Leaders at this year’s show, organisers WorldSkills UK are celebrating the achievement of a national award which recognises the excellent work which it does in creating and shaping the volunteer development programme for the event.
Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard is the UK benchmark for all organisations involving volunteers. Managed by the UK Volunteering Forum, the Investing in Volunteers award is unique, as it is the only standard for businesses that focuses on volunteers. Achieving the award is based on four areas of volunteer management: planning for volunteer involvement, recruiting volunteers, selecting and matching volunteers and supporting and retaining volunteers.
“Our volunteer workforce is at the heart of every successful Skills Show which we co-ordinate,” explains Clare Baars, Volunteering Manager at WorldSkills UK, “and we work hard to ensure that the experience of volunteering is a positive one for everyone involved in the programme, while passing on the ‘soft skills’ which employers are constantly asking for as part of our training. Our processes, while rigorous, ensure that we match volunteers with opportunities as closely as possible, and the success of the programme can be seen in the careers which our volunteers have gone on to, using the skills they have learned and developed while working with the event team. We are thrilled to receive this award on behalf of all our amazing volunteers during the past four years, and look forward to working with even more people at this year’s Show.”
In further positive ratification of the WorldSkills UK volunteers programme, The Skills Show 2015 achieved WorldHost recognition from People 1st, the training provider for both Team Leaders and volunteers at the event. Used at the London 2012 Olympics, World Host recognition is an internationally recognised standard for customer service and assistance and demonstrates the business’ commitment to providing a great visitor experience throughout the event.
Applications are now open for the position of Volunteer Team Leaders to help to co-ordinate this year’s event, which takes place at the NEC from 17 to 19 November. Between 15 and 20 individuals will be recruited to oversee the work of the wider volunteer team, in partnership with representatives of WorldSkills UK, to ensure that the event runs smoothly and delivers against its objectives. Team leaders take responsibility for guiding and leading a group of show team volunteers during the build and break down phases of the event, as well as at The Skills Show itself. Team leaders play an enthusiastic, senior position to help the event delivery team to produce a smooth and positive experience for both visitors and other volunteers.
“Volunteering at The Skills Show as a team leader is the perfect role for anyone studying event management, or a course where management skills are important,” said Ryan Stephens, a Volunteer Team Leader at the 2015 event. “The exposure you get to the operational side of such a large-scale event is second to none, and you will also make memories and friends for life.”