A new events industry apprenticeship scheme has been given the green light by the Minister of Skills, Nick Boles.
More than 20 of the industry’s top 30 event agencies and six key industry associations have committed to work together to create the content of the new apprenticeship standard through the Trailblazers programme.
The scheme will focus on creating an innovative standard for the events industry, enabling an alternative route for young people to enter the industry.
Industry veteran Sarah Wright, who has been campaigning for a number of years to develop an events apprenticeship scheme, is behind the initiative, which will be led by an industry group chaired by Mark Riches, managing director of First Protocol.
Nick Boles MP, Minister of State for Skills & Equalities, commented: "I am delighted that First Protocol, in partnership with many other event companies, will join more than 1,000 of the country’s leading employers in designing new top quality apprenticeships in Events Management.
"Giving employers the power to design apprenticeships means that apprentices graduate with the skills they need for the job they want and businesses get the talent they need to grow."
Mark Riches said: "This is an incredibly exciting development for our industry. Creating a diverse, skilled and engaged workforce is absolutely critical to business success. The introduction of a specialised apprenticeship standard that will develop talent through bespoke skills development and on the job training is a fantastic opportunity for all of us."
Financial support will be provided through a grant to Media for Development from the Monument Trust to support the establishment of the new apprenticeship standard. Grant monies will be used to employ dedicated resources to develop the standard, which will include an employment route for disadvantaged people, including ex-offenders.
Sarah Wright, who will advise the industry group, commented: "In the past twenty years the event industry has evolved into a new sector that employs more than 550,000 and currently contributes around £36 billion to the UK economy; a figure that is forecast to grow to nearly £50 billion by 2020.
"The industry is extraordinarily diverse and offers fantastic careers and opportunities for a broad range of individuals - it is imperative that we develop a scheme that meets the needs of the industry, that helps us broaden our recruitment pool as well as encouraging new, diverse talent into the range of exciting careers that out industry offers."
This scheme will enable existing employees or new recruits to develop more of the skills that the advisory board identifies as being essential in establishing a solid career in events. This will range from creative skills and project management to customer service, budget management through to regulation, and best practice.