FIRST takes on first Government-backed apprentice

FIRST London has officially hired the industry’s inaugural event management assistant apprentice through the government’s Trailblazer Apprenticeship Scheme. Zenaida Da Costa, who lives locally to the FIRST London office in Waterloo, will commence work next week.

Da Costa was successfully selected following a Prince’s Trust workshop designed to get young people into employment. Da Costa said: “I am so happy to have the opportunity to join the exciting events industry. University wasn’t right for me, so I am excited to get a job that offers training and professional qualifications as I earn and support my family”.

Harriet Bullen, HR and recruitment advisor at FIRST, and coordinator of the Event Industry’s Apprenticeship Scheme, who supported the appointment said: “we are delighted that two years of work in creating this exciting apprenticeship scheme has come to fruition with the hiring of our inaugural apprentice.”

The process to create an apprenticeship programme for the event industry began in late 2014 through an industry working group. Their collective efforts have resulted in a Government fully approved and operational scheme: The Event Management Assistant Apprenticeship.

The scheme is now available nationwide, is being rolled out across the industry from January. The apprenticeship will allow people from all backgrounds and ages to gain experience and relevant professional qualifications within the events industry. The scheme aims to break down barriers to entry, specifically where experience is required, and to attract a new broader pipeline of talent in addition to the university graduate route.

Mark Riches, managing director at FIRST London and chair of the Industry’s Apprenticeship Group, said: “we are very excited to welcome Zenaida, our inaugural event management assistant apprentice to FIRST. The scheme provides a real alternative route into our industry and will help us reach a more diverse talent base. Zenaida will be our FIRST apprenticeship of many, and will make a real contribution to help people kick start careers in our industry”.

Martin Fullard


Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard: journalist, presenter, producer. Martin is the Deputy Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines. He leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

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