2010 volunteers won’t be properly qualified
15 Mon, Feb 2010
Article published in Tourism Update On-Line
Trainers and training bodies in South Africa are questioning the ability of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Organising Committee Volunteer Programme to provide World Cup volunteers with effective training.
Of concern is the short time allocated to the Customer Care, and Know Your City, Know Your Country modules that form part of the three-day training programme.
Onke Mjo, the volunteer programme manager of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (2010 OC) confirmed that two hours had been set aside for the customer care component.
Between 1 000 and 2 000 volunteers will be trained at the same time.
Mike Tsotetsi, Theta’s (Tourism, Hospitality, Sports Education and Training Authority) CEO believes the short time allocated to customer care and the sheer number of volunteers being taught in a single session, will compromise significantly what Theta can offer as a compressed version of its lauded SA Host training programme.
The programme is usually taught over two days to a maximum of 20 people.
Tsotetsi has requested that the Local Organising Committee (LOC) allow Theta to continue further customer care training following the three-day programme.
“Volunteers need to demonstrate competence. We want to ensure that when we give out certificates we can vouch for that competence.”
Mjo said the two-hour customer care session would deal with components that the 2010 OC deemed relevant and doable within the allocated time frame. “Volunteers have not been chosen to work for tourism institutions or establishments. The training we are undertaking we deem suitable for the purpose of the tournament’s Volunteer Programme.”
She said Theta had provided a reduced version of SA Host for the volunteer training for the Final Draw of the Confederations Cup last year and the 2010 OC therefore believed it would be feasible for them to provide a similar version for the 2010 Fifa World Cup volunteer training.
“Our benchmarking with the 2006 Fifa World Cup and 2008 Euro volunteer training programme provides us with the comfort that we are on the correct path.”
She added that the 2010 OC had been very clear from the outset that none of the training being provided would yield any certification. “Lessons learnt have taught us what is doable in an event of this nature and magnitude. We remain confident that thousands of people have built up invaluable experience over the years during the World Cup volunteer process that will stand them in good stead in the future.”
The 2010 OC will be informing the 18 000 volunteers that Theta has provided the option of offering further volunteer training on SA Host for World Cup volunteers after the three-day event.
Gill Pilkington, who trained volunteers on the Know Your Country, You’re your City module for last year’s Confederations Cup, said it was impossible to have a transfer of knowledge with 2 000 people in one venue, and that two hours was insufficient time to get proper training. “I don’t think the volunteers will benefit.”
Lisa Bradshaw, independent SA Host trainer feels the same. “It’s absolutely impossible to train SA Host or Know Your City, Know Your Country in two hours and expect volunteers to get any value out of it.”