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FIFA World Cup™ - Without a dedicated Workforce, there is no event!

Associate Facilitator, Guest Lecturer and Guest Speaker Sharifa Wilkinson, is in Qatar working as the Last Mile Lead at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 for the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy. Here is her recent article on her time with the Workforce Planning Team


By Sharifa Wilkinson

When you think of a mega sporting event like the FIFA World Cup™, the first thing that comes to mind is the prolific players, the stunning stadiums and the fantastic fans. However, there is a team working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that all the promises made are delivered. They are the workforce!

The workforce is a team of staff, volunteers and suppliers that work on a variety of Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy projects for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Without this dedicated workforce, there is no event!

My job as a part of the Host Country (HC) Workforce team was to take care of the wellbeing of our workforce by ensuring there are suitable amenities for their needs while they are on duty. For example, I ensured that during the tournament there will be a location for the workforce to check in/ receive recognition items, an appropriate solution for meals, a quiet place to pray, and a relaxation and socialising area for team members to have a break during their long and demanding shifts.

A deliverable that I worked on was designing and requesting the appropriate material planning for Workforce Centres and amenities for HC staff and volunteers. Planning Workforce Centres and facilities across 20 sites requires attention to detail and a high level of coordination with five key projects: Overlay, Logistics, Power, IT and Signage & Dressing. Each project provides different services, and all are necessary for delivering functional HC Workforce spaces.

For the Overlay team, we requested items such as marquees and porta cabin toilets that are suitable for hundreds of workforce per site. For Logistics, we coordinated the FFE (Fittings, Furniture, and Equipment) – items like Workforce check-in desks, sofas and entertainment units. For our IT team, we ordered laptops, printers, Wi-Fi and other technological items. Our Power team provides electricity to our requested items, including extension cords and strategically positioned outlets. Signage & Dressing offer banners, bunting, posters, etc., which help to provide a festive environment when workforce walk through the door.

Material planning can be an arduous process, as there are hundreds of items to manage. As each site is unique, missing an item can have serious impact during event delivery. Not only do these items need to be ordered, but they need to be requested to a specific location, delivered, and installed in a logical order.

Sharifa Wilkinson, pictured left.

Our team was fortunate enough to be able to conduct site visits to better understand the internal layout of existing buildings or where our Workforce Centre was going to be positioned for our demountable sites. After the site visits, we would have a better understanding of what was required at each site and need to adjust our material plans.

A challenge that we faced was related to the change management process. For some sites, we needed to increase our scope, while at other sites, we had to cancel our request altogether. Unfortunately, it was not a straightforward fix, as the software that we were using to request our items had limitations and it was a manual process by all entities involved. While this proved difficult to do, we got there in the end!

In less than three months’ time, the HC Workforce team will welcome thousands of staff and volunteers to almost 20 sites across Qatar. The Workforce team will be one of the first faces that staff and volunteers will encounter when they arrive for their shift. Before they interact with staff or volunteers, they will see, step into and be immersed within a safe and welcoming space called the Workforce Centre.

As I transition into my new role as a Last Mile Cluster Manager, I take pride in knowing that the HC Workforce team, contributed to the development of these spaces and that the staff and volunteers’ tournament experience will be made more enjoyable because of them.


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