Birmingham 2022 launched its search for 13,000 volunteers for the Commonwealth Games on June 1, 2021 - to coincide with volunteering week.

The application process closed on August 17, with organisers reporting an "amazing response" from those looking to be involved.

Successful candidates will form the "The Commonwealth Collective", with organisers aiming to recruit a "dedicated and dynamic group".

The Commonwealth Collective will be the public face of Birmingham 2022 - which will be the largest sporting and cultural event ever held in the West Midlands and the biggest in the UK for a decade.

They will represent the "heart and soul" of the Games experience for the thousands of athletes, officials and fans who are expected to flock to the city.

Volunteers must be 18 by January 1, 2022 and be eligible to volunteer in the UK. They need to be able to speak and read English, or communicate using British Sign Language.

All of the volunteers will receive a combined 250,000 hours of training and complete one million hours of volunteer time.

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Jobs and Skills Academy

Birmingham 2022 will also bring around 5,000 jobs per year to the city leading up to the year of the Commonwealth Games.

A web-based Jobs and Skills Academy has been launched to help local people land roles connected to the multi-sport event.

It has been created by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in conjunction with Birmingham 2022, and offers free educational courses to local residents earning less than £18,135 ($24,700/€21,400) per year.

Sectors where jobs will be available include hospitality, security, stewarding, logistics, cleaning and catering.

It is hoped more than 6,000 people will be trained to fill jobs leading up to and during the Games.

Commonwealth Games contractors are involved in the project and can be connected directly with people graduating the courses.

Birmingham 2022 is also keen for local people to gain work through the city hosting the Games.

Previous job initiatives have included offering 1500 people the chance to undertake higher-level courses to gain employment through the Games, including in digital marketing, event management, health, sports coaching and leading teams. 

Set up by the WMCA, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham 2022, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Education, Jobcentre Plus and the Department for Work and Pensions, the Commonwealth Jobs and Skills Academy oversees the running of these initiatives.

To explore current Birmingham 2022 job vacancies, click here.

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Birmingham 2022 will offer 314 volunteer roles which will require a wide range of different skills.

Positions include roles at the Games - where volunteers will need to be available for the event between July 28 and August 8 in 2022.

Other roles will be pre-Games, and will see volunteers complete one shift a week for three months. 

Roles available include drivers, first aiders, meet and greeters, venue preppers, kit carriers and courtside assistants.

Volunteers must commit to a minimum of eight shifts, and a shift will last on average between six and ten hours.

Volunteering roles at Birmingham 2022 are available in the following areas:

Accreditation: Volunteers will help manage the accreditation system which will allow 80,000 people to perform their duties and participate at the Games.

Arrivals and departures: Helping people get to and from their accommodation when they arrive and depart.

Anti-doping: Being part of the Birmingham 2022 anti-doping process which will ensure the integrity of the sporting action.

Catering, cleaning and waste: Supplying food and drink to everyone at the Games, as well as cleaning and waste removal at venues and the Athletes' Villages.

Ceremonies: Working on the Opening and Closing Ceremonies - two major features of any Commonwealth Games.

Contact centre: Helping to support the volunteer recruitment programme, and managing phone calls and emails from the public.

Cultural programme: Involvement with the huge cultural celebration which will run alongside the Games, which aims to use the "power of art" to showcase the region to the world.

Event services: The "Face of the Games". On hand to provide a "safe, enjoyable and efficient" experience for fans.

Fleet services: Transport for VIPs, athletes and Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs). Responsible for the life-cycle of Games vehicles.

Games family services: Looking after the relationship with the Commonwealth Games Federation, CGAs and others.

Hospitality: Helping to deliver day-to-day hospitality for commercial guests and sponsors.

Live sites: Volunteering at the free live sites around Birmingham, which will allow people to engage with the Games.

Marketing and communications: Helping in the press office, with a small team also managing the appearance schedule of Perry, the Birmingham 2022 mascot.

Media operations: Providing services and facilities for the media, broadcasters and photographers.

Medical services: Health care professionals who volunteer to carry out immediate treatment when necessary. 

Results technology services: Helping with the timing and scoring for all events, and the distribution of results.

Sport: Meeting the needs of athletes and technical officials - a key role in the delivery of all sports at the Games.

Sport presentation and medals: Responsible for the creative production and session timing of each sport at every venue.

Technology: Responsible for IT and computer equipment, service desk support and IT service management.

Uniforms: Working on the design and distribution of the uniform for staff and volunteers, to ensure everyone is looking their best.

Venue management: Working with all other departments, clients and partners to ensure a safe and successful event.

Venue technology services: Making sure a venue includes all of the required technology, such as telecoms, IT, timing and scoring and broadcast.

Venue transport: Helping people travelling to and from Games venues.

Village management: Looking after the four Athletes' Villages and ensuring guests receive excellent service.

Workforce: Responsible for the check-in and engagement of the workforce and dealing with daily queries.

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Training and uniform

The majority of the volunteer roles do not require any formal experience or qualifications. 

Shortlisted volunteers will be invited to the Volunteer Selection Centre in Birmingham between September and December 2021 for around one hour, to discuss their applications.

Those successful will then need to attend a minimum of three training sessions:

  • Orientation training
  • Role specific training
  • Venue specific training
  • Leadership training (only required for some roles)

All volunteers will receive a uniform before starting work, including trousers, tops, a rain jacket and head wear.

The uniforms can be kept after the Games as a lasting memory of the time spent volunteering at the event.

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The application process

The window to apply to become a Birmingham 2022 volunteer has now closed.

Those who entered the process filled in an application form, where they stated role preferences and specific skills and qualifications.

Birmingham 2022's full volunteering timeline can be found here:

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Benefits of volunteering

Volunteering at Birmingham 2022 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

Joining the Commonwealth Collective is a chance to give something back, while inspiring a generation and being part of something special.

A volunteering role also provides great work experience, and stands out on a CV or when in a job interview.

Members of the Commonwealth Collective will gain new skills and meet new people - all while having fun, creating memories and making a real difference to the event and the local area.

"I've had such a wonderful time volunteering," said Rose, who volunteered at both the Gold Coast 2018 and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

"I enjoyed being part of a big spectacle and knowing that I was helping young athletes to fulfil their dreams. 

"The buzz leading up to the Games was phenomenal, the excitement surrounding the Opening Ceremony and the atmosphere during the Games was surreal."

Penney, who volunteered in Glasgow, added: "Volunteering is one of the best things that I have ever done. 

"Anyone who volunteers at Birmingham 2022 will have the time of their lives and discover things about themselves, use their innate skills as well as develop a few more."

Rino Costanza, who first volunteered at the London 2012 Olympics, said: "If you were to ask any volunteer what they get out of volunteering in a sporting event, I would presume we all would say the same thing. 

"The thrill and excitement in being part of an historic sporting event is like no other. 

"Being part of a team of fellow enthusiasts, learning new skills, engaging with people from all walks of life and being challenged to put on a great show brings so much reward.

"Whether you are a seasoned volunteer or its something you have thought about but never ventured, then give volunteering at Birmingham 2022 serious consideration. 

"I will guarantee that once you've experienced it you will never look back again - you will have the buzz for life."

Benefits for Birmingham 2022 volunteers include: 

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Athletes playing their part

Birmingham 2022 launched its search for the Commonwealth Collective on June 1, 2021 - to mark volunteering week.

Three elite local athletes lent a hand by volunteering at community organisations and sports clubs across the West Midlands - Para-swimmer Ellie Simmonds, boxer Galal Yafai and rugby sevens player Heather Fisher.