Nick de Bois MP urges events industry to take on more apprenticeships

’Apprenticeships
are a key part of the government agenda, but there are not enough
apprenticeships in the events industry as a whole, events minister Nick
de Bois told a packed audience at International Confex’.

Opening the two-day exhibition at Olympia London, de Bois discussed the industry’s response to the findings of the All Party Parliamentary Group’s Inquiry into the international competitiveness of the UK events industry, with a panel of industry experts.

“I
hold the government’s employment programme very highly and believe that
we need to look at apprenticeships through a customer’s point of view,
and ask ourselves ’what’s in it for me?’”

“We need to ask why
apprenticeships work for this industry, we need to appeal directly to
employers and look at the value of internships. They are a wide
alternative to university degrees, yet there are not enough
apprenticeships in the industry,” de Bois said.

Martin
Christian-Kent from People1st, sitting on the panel said: “Historically
apprenticeships haven’t worked for the events industry. What we need to
do is set professional apprenticeship standards in place for this to
work. This is a real opportunity to get a simplistic solution in place.”

Also
on the panel were Tracy Halliwell from London & Partners, Caroline
Mackenzie from Contendam, and Simon Gidman from VisitEngland.

Alistair
Turner and Richard Foulkes co-chaired the debate and discussed the key
recommendations from the inquiry report, including best practices in the
events industry, industrial regional partnerships with local
authorities, and the industry embracing Ministerial Support Bid
initiatives.

The panel also discussed the need for the events industry to unite and be coordinated with one voice.

“The
right direction to speak with one voice is to meet in one place, and
that place is Confex,” said de Bois. “I want to thank Confex for
supporting the APPG Inquiry, and thank Mash Media for organising this
event. It’s a positive step putting the industry all in one place.”

De
Bois went on to say that he didn’t want 2012 to be seen as the peak for
events with the Olympics. “It doesn’t represent the day to day ongoings
of the events industry. We are a living advertisement of why
international companies should invest in the UK. We are the showcase for
Britain.”

Do you have news for CN? Email conferencenews@mashmedia.net 

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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