Partnership plants seed for student volunteers' futures
The University's UK Centre of Events Management has joined forces with Seed Staff, an innovative company that gives undergraduates the opportunity to gain experience and undergo training whilst volunteering at some of Britain's biggest live events.
Since the partnership got underway in the summer, more than 80 Leeds Met Events Management and Entertainment Management students have bolstered their CVs and employability skills by volunteering at the likes of Leeds and Birmingham's Olympic Torch Relays, the 2012 Games in London and South Wales's Beach Break Live which saw stars including Dizzee Rascal and Nero perform to thousands.
Stephen Prescott, who is undertaking the final year of his Events Management degree at Leeds Metropolitan and works freelance for Seed Staff managing and supervising student volunteers, will be working at the Freeze Festival held at London's Battersea Power Station from October 26-27. Eight Leeds Met students will also be volunteering at the event.
"There's something for everyone when it comes to volunteering for Seed Staff," commented Stephen. "Students can get great experience as there are a lot of different roles to be filled. They can take on anything from being a production assistant to being a steward to working on merchandise stands."
Stephen added that the more events that students volunteered at the more networking opportunities there were, potentially leading to other volunteering opportunities both in the UK and overseas.
David Bassett, Senior Lecturer in Events Management at Leeds Metropolitan, said the partnership with Seed Staff gave students a unique opportunity to put their learning from their degrees into practice whilst rubbing shoulders with industry professionals and making useful contacts.
"This experience is so important and will really help our students stand out from the crowd when they are looking for employment after they graduate," he commented. "The on-site training is another excellent opportunity for students to further develop their skills - not everything can be taught in the classroom."
The content of the training includes on-site management structures, stakeholder mapping and event history as well as practical skills such as radio use and site map use. Seed Staff also ensure that volunteers are not only well versed in their own role but also get a broad range of information about the overall event.
More advanced, optional training sessions are also open to all volunteers, covering topics such as site design and artist booking.
Freeze is the last major event for student volunteers in 2012. Seed Staff will present a fresh festival and events volunteering programme for Leeds Met's UK Centre of Events Management undergraduates in the New Year.