50,000 applicants for the "Ready, willing and able" team
50,000 applicants put their names forward for the 2006 FIFA World CupTM Volunteer Programme. The "Ready, willing and able" team will comprise a total of 15,000 volunteers, who will be seeing to the needs of guests, teams and journalists during the summer of 2006. One in three volunteers around 5,300 in total will be working directly looking after fans and guests.
"The volunteers will be the smiling face of the World Cup, welcoming guests from around the world, answering all their questions and basically just being available for them," explains OC Vice President Dr Theo Zwanziger, who is responsible for the Volunteer Programme. "They will have far more of an impact on the image of the World Cup than the 260 of us working in the OC ever can. Unfortunately we cannot find a job for each candidate, but I think that it's wonderful that so many well qualified people have applied to perform volunteer tasks. This was of course made possible thanks to the help of ODDSET, who publicised the Volunteer Programme."
One third of all applicants are women, 64 percent are younger than 30 years, but there are also 2.000 retirees among the field of applicants. The Volunteer Programme already embodies the FIFA World Cup motto "A time to make friends", since applications were received not just from Germany, but from all around the world. The non-German applications came from a total of 168 countries from all four corners of the world. One fifth of all applicants were from outside the host nation, with Brazil providing the most non-German candidates, via 1,500 applicants.
The volunteers will be well prepared for the task of looking after guests from around the world, particularly when it comes to their language skills. Between them, they cover 45 different languages, including Hindi, Korean and Japanese.
The areas in which the volunteers will be working are many and varied, and include accreditation, media, transportation and traffic control, IT and telecommunications, fan services, competition, logistics, project management and ticketing. Helpers will be involved in all areas of the organisational structure, and are without exception described as "unpaid, but worth their weight in gold".
Candidates will receive notice of the results of their applications from the Organising Committee by mid-March.
Volunteers in training
From the end of March, the volunteers will receive specific training for their 2006 FIFA World Cup roles. There will be a "kick-off event" in all 12 of the FIFA World Cup venues to get things underway, featuring representatives of the various cities as well as past and current footballers and stars from the worlds of politics, sport and entertainment.
Things will start off with a "team talk", in which the volunteers in the various FIFA World Cup Host Cities will have the various tournament procedures explained to them. Hospitality, service and helpfulness are the three key elements of this "conduct training", as it is known.
The second training of the Volunteer Programme will be in the preparation for the specific tasks, where the successful applicants will be geared up for their particular roles. Afterwards, the volunteers will be informed as to which area they will be concentrating on, and given examples of various situations and how to react to them.