In a preview event held today at the Games Maker selection centre at ExCeL London, LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe revealed that the 100,000 people best suited to the 70,000 volunteer roles on offer will be invited over 14 months to take part in an interview. A further eight selection centres around the UK were also announced as taking place between March and August 2011.
It is estimated that over the next 14 months, over 300 people a day will attend a selection event comprising of an informative and engaging exhibition about Olympic and Paralympic volunteering and a 30 minute interview. Where possible, applicants will be invited to attend the selection event nearest to them.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG commented: ‘The Games Maker volunteers will be the faces of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and it is crucial that we recruit the best team players in the UK. More than half of the applicants selected for interview have a chance of being offered a volunteer role.
‘Our team will be finding out if the applicants have got what it takes to be a Games Maker and that they are willing to go beyond their personal best to help us stage a great Olympic and Paralympic Games. The interview process is a huge undertaking, but vitally important to find the right people for the success of the London 2012 Games.’
Given the numbers involved in the UK’s biggest peace-time recruitment drive, no two applications will proceed at the same pace. LOCOG will take most of 2011 to contact applicants and arrange interviews via email and the Games Maker online portal.
With 40% of applicants telling LOCOG they would be volunteering for the first time, LOCOG is working with the UK Life-time Alliance to encourage these people to get active in their local communities through the website http://www.ukvolunteering.org
Justin Davis-Smith, Chair of the Life-Time UK Alliance and Chief Executive of Volunteering England, said: ‘The Games will showcase the passion, energy and commitment that are the hallmarks of volunteering in the UK. And with one in four applicants never having volunteered before, they will provide a fantastic opportunity to build a lasting legacy of community engagement and civic participation. The Life-Time UK Alliance, which represents the volunteering movement throughout the UK, is working closely with LOCOG to encourage all would-be Games Makers to get involved in volunteering activities in their communities in advance of the Games and to help those people who are unsuccessful in their application to find other similarly exciting and meaningful roles to play. Volunteers are central to the success of all modern Games and LOCOG should be commended for the creativity and care they have shown in developing the Games Maker programme’.
The Games Maker interviews will be conducted by a team of 2,500 Selection Event Volunteers who are lending their time to help LOCOG select the best possible Games Maker team.
Interviewers will be drawn from LOCOG Human Resources and Volunteer Recruitment staff, LOCOG Trailblazer volunteers with recruitment experience in a wide variety of employment sectors, staff from the member organisations of the East London Business Alliance and Human Resource Management and Business Studies undergraduates from universities across the UK. All have completed comprehensive training to ensure a positive, fair and enjoyable interview experience.
Worldwide Olympic Partner McDonald’s is the Presenting Partner of the Games Maker volunteer programme. McDonald’s used its nationwide presence to help attract candidates for the diverse team that will be needed to make the London 2012 Games a success. The LOCOG Volunteer team held training sessions for all volunteers conducting interviews at the world-class training facilities at McDonald’s head office in East Finchley, London.
Jill McDonald, McDonald’s UK and Northern Europe CEO and President said: ‘The volunteer interviewers have the critical task of spotting the individuals who have the right qualities to thrive in the fast-paced environment of the London 2012 Games, and who will remain committed between now and the Games taking place. It’s not easy to find this combination of enthusiasm and dedication, but at McDonald’s, we’ve learnt a lot about recruiting and retaining people with the right qualities and attitude who enjoy delivering great customer service as part of a diverse, motivated and loyal team. It’s a privilege to share this expertise with LOCOG to help build a truly first-class Games Maker team.’
Today, LOCOG also announced Cadbury as Official Supporter of the London 2012 Games Maker programme. Cadbury will help LOCOG build great Games Maker teams through fun and friendly game play delivered by programmes such as the Spots v Stripes campaign.