Blog: The Event Management Apprenticeship programme

As part of our online Recruitment Report, C&IT spoke to Harriet Bullen, HR & recruitment advisor at FIRST, about the Event Management Apprenticeship scheme.

Harriet Bullen
Harriet Bullen

The Event Management Apprenticeship programme was over five years in the making, and the Event Assistance apprenticeship role has now been fully approved by Government for deployment. FIRST hired its first apprentice, Zenaida Dos Santos, in February this year after selecting her from candidates presented through The Prince’s Trust.

The Event Management Apprenticeship is a formal and structural learning programme that gives an alternative route into the events industry, and is a combination of workplace learning, online learning and face to face workshops.

As this apprenticeship is new to our industry, much of the work at present is around awareness across our sectors to get organisations interested in taking on an event management apprentice. So far there have been more than 24 expressions of interest from organisations; including event agencies, corporates, associations, hotels and venues.

Key facts about the scheme:

  • The apprentice is a full time employee, not a freelancer or temporary worker
  • They must be treated like all other employees and included in performance reviews, team meetings and ultimately client meetings
  • The programme requires 20% of their time to be ‘off the day job’ on learning and studying
  • The programme has been designed by the events industry for the events industry
  • The Apprenticeship Levy is a form of taxation to companies and went live on 6 April. This effects any UK company with a payroll of over £3m per annum, with 0.5% being put into an online ‘pot’ that can only be used for apprenticeship training costs
  • The apprentice must be paid at least the National Apprenticeship minimum wage, however companies, such as those in London, might want to consider higher payments
  • There are also training costs associated, which can be negotiated with your training provider

FIRST is very supportive of the university route, both as a strategic learning path and in terms of offering work placements. In fact 100% of our employees hired in 2016 attended university, clearly affording graduates promising careers.

However, FIRST is keen to have a broader recruitment pipeline, specifically in addition to the university route, and as a result has recently hired the event industry’s first Trailblazer Apprentice. The apprenticeship route gives a brilliant alternative to university, and as such is a place to earn as you learn.

See more FIRST:

C&IT A List 2017: Jasmin Javaherian, FIRST

What motivates event professionals?

Recruitment report: Employer's challenges

Recruitment report: The employee's view


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