With what appears to be an increase in apprenticeships and work
placements over the last few years, it is evident that academia is not the
only available route into the events industry.
a placement scheme runs concurrently with an Event Management degree,
apprenticeships offer a form of ‘on the job training’. Young people not
in full time education can learn a job or skill by working for a fixed
period of time under the tutelage of a professional.
training and developing fresh talent has deep roots in the events
industry with a host of organisations developing or directing more
resources into apprenticeship and placement-style schemes.
these programmes are about giving young, aspiring event professionals a
grounding in the ways and means of the events world. These young people
are the future of the industry so who better to mentor them than those
already fully immersed in the industry on a day-to-day basis. Indeed,
these schemes are not one-sided; they are mutually beneficial to both
the individual and organisation. Some could clearly benefit from a fresh
transfusion of young blood and thinking.
runs a 10-month-apprenticeship scheme for young people looking to gain
experience in the industry, and Richard Harrison, head of conference
centres, considers apprentices to be “absolutely essential to the growth
of the meetings and conferences industry”.
Lancaster London has
16 apprentices working in finance, HR, engineering, F&B,
reservations, front of house, as well as the kitchens. GM Sally Beck says the hotel has
broadened its apprenticeship scheme and has produced a series of
templates that can be used in association with local colleges. The plan
is to make the hotel a centre of learning by training supervisors and
junior managers for greater responsibility.
Opening up all avenues in the events industry to students and apprentices is key. As well as venues, agencies are also offering schemes to help develop event professionals of the future.
agency Ashfield Meetings & Events runs a placement scheme and, from
talking to some of their students, it is clear that the advantages of
hands-on experience in this industry are priceless.
people skills has been key for Ashfield placement student Katie Mason,
who says: “This isn’t something touched on much at university because I
think it’s all learnt through practice. Talking to delegates on the
phone and via email is something you need to learn on the job and I feel
much more confident now.”
Other skills such as working with
suppliers, priortising time, excel skills and just generally being able
to develop their confidence were listed by Ashfield placement students
as benefits to the scheme.
It seems that apprenticeships and
placement schemes within the industry not only gives future event
professionals a head start in their careers, it enables more experienced
event professionals to pass on their knowledge and expertise, and
ultimate help secure the future of the events industry.
Any comments? Email Zoe Vernor