The Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) has announced it will relaunch the events industry apprenticeship scheme at a time when recruitment challenges are impacting all types of businesses across the sector.
Richard Waddington, chair of the Event Marketing Association (EMA) will act as the BVEP Skills, Talent & Diversity Working Group Event Apprenticeship lead.
“Apprenticeship schemes are so important for all industries and the events industry is no exception. 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,” said Waddington.
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 them 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.
Caroline Jackson, BVEP Skills, Talent & Diversity Working Group Chair, said: “BVEP partners are putting money and time into working together to do something positive to address the current workforce issues. 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. BVEP are really pleased to have Naomi Hollas, EventGrads founder, to work with us as Event Apprenticeships Coordinator.”
Immediate objectives for the group include recruiting a ‘Trailblazer’ group of industry leaders who will ensure 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, chief operating officer of event apprenticeship provider Realise 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.”
He added: “After an 18-month hiatus we’re now gearing up for a new cohort of apprentices and, in anticipation of what the Trailblazer group recommends, are ensuring that the learning content fully embraces the world of virtual and hybrid events.”
The announcement was made to coincide with this year’s National Apprenticeship Week, a week-long celebration of apprenticeships taking place on 7-13 February.