Events Industry Apprenticeship Scheme restarts
The Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) has confirmed it has restarted its events industry apprenticeship scheme.
Richard Waddington, chair of the Event Marketing Association (EMA) will act as the BVEP Skills, Talent & Diversity Working Group Event Apprenticeship lead. On the relaunch, Waddington said apprenticeship schemes are important for all industries and that “the events industry is no exception”.
He said: “We’re such a vast industry with lots of different options. Learning on the job was how I did it, but an Apprenticeship provides ongoing formal education alongside this. It allows many to get into our industry with support and get paid for it.”
The previous initiators of the Event Assistant Apprenticeship, which was originally approved in 2017, have worked with the BVEP’s Skills, Talent & Diversity Working Group to help use existing resources and information to re-launch this initiative. BVEP partners have agreed the seed-funding required to cover the first six months of operation.
Safeguarding a route to the industry
Caroline Jackson, BVEP Skills, Talent & Diversity Working Group chair, said that the association’s partners are providing funding and time to safeguard a career pathway into the industry. “Partners are putting money and time into working together to do something positive to address the current workforce issues,” she said.
“Picking up and bringing together those offering event apprenticeships is safeguarding one route into the industry. It is anticipated that many businesses will also step forward to work with us on this, especially in offering event apprenticeships since the KickStart scheme has come to an end.”
Jackson confirmed that Naomi Hollas, founder of EventGrads, will take on the role of event apprenticeships coordinator.
Industry leaders required
Immediate objectives for the group include recruiting a ‘trailblazer group’ of industry leaders who will be tasked with ensuring the relevance of the apprenticeships and will support with steering further activities. Companies which have previously expressed interest in offering opportunities for apprentices will also be contacted and further funding will be sought to ensure ongoing viability and expansion.
The group are also working with other associated apprenticeships that support the events industry. This includes the Live Event Technician, Creative Venue Technician and Live Event Rigger, all currently being reviewed.
The Event Assistant Apprenticeship is currently available but requires reviewing, promoting and bringing together a range of professional training providers who will work with employers to provide the essential off-the-job teaching and structured approach.
Richard John, COO, Realise.me.uk, and existing apprenticeship scheme, said the value of such programmes has never been so important as in some cases university is beyond the financial means of some people. He said: “We’ve supported more than 60 amazing people through the events apprenticeship programme, and despite the pandemic, many have gone on to progress a successful career in events. Indeed, we have one at Realise and we’d be lost without her.
“At a time when the industry is suffering skills shortage and wage inflation, an events apprentice is the perfect solution. And, as an alternative to taking a degree, this approach allows candidates to earn while they learn.”