Getting in training

With a large and fluid workforce working in environments that could sometimes be dangerous, Gallowglass takes its training responsibilities very seriously, so as to ensure crews are both safe and compliant with legal regulations.

Even though the UK events industry is the best in the world, we’ve historically lacked a training structure that would enable people to validate the skills they are learning and build their careers. There has been an industry-wide assumption amongst employers that people will pick things up. They do – but generally the wrong things!

Blazing the Trail

Not surprisingly, we’ve been keen supporters of the Trailblazer Apprenticeship Scheme, and in 2015, we partnered with media services provider dock10 and a local college to launch a technical skills-based scheme giving students from the Manchester area dedicated training at The Studios at MediaCityUK.

The training is aligned to the skills requirements at MediaCityUK – part of the apprentices’ learning takes place within The Studios using its equipment – so the scheme offers real technical career opportunities in the broadcasting industry.

We’re now supporting our fourth apprentice and the scheme has been universally praised. The scheme has created an offering that we believe is unique, and this was only made possible with the full cooperation of Dock10.

Accredited courses

As well as training our own people we’ve been delivering accredited courses aimed specifically at the live events sector since 2011. These include the Safety Pass Alliance (SPA) Passport for the Live Events Business and SPA Supervisor’s Course; also the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Level 2 Award in Manual Handling and Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work.

Our own ‘Top 20’ operational courses

The latest chapter in our training story is our partnership with John Young, former Head of Technical Services at Ambassador Theatre Group, to produce a ‘Top 20’ suite of training courses for on-site operational staff.

John has compiled a suite of both statutory and technical skills training courses covering all levels of responsibility - from basic Manual Handling to the flagship IOSH Managing Safely four-day course for managers and supervisors.

A specialist trainer in venue and production management, he has been leading the advisory group working towards the Creative Venue Technician Trailblazer apprenticeship framework, designed for budding technicians in the live performance and screen industries.

Health and safety

John’s Top 20 training is largely based on health and safety, designed for the live events, exhibition, theatre and entertainment sectors. Course content is focused on the safe use of tools and equipment, first aid and fire safety.

Aside from the externally-accredited courses, he has identified some key knowledge gaps. Up until now there’s been no formal Production Managers’ safety training available. We’ve also been delivering sessions for venues and event owners needing to understand their responsibilities around the CDM Regulations.

So, if any of the above sound interesting, we can either provide centralised courses at our West London HQ, or deliver group training at clients’ premises if required, and we can put together bespoke training courses to meet specific client needs.

About the author

Group Director, Human Resources, Gallowglass Group

An expert in employee relations, Chris brought her extensive HR experience to Gallowglass in 2004, after working for several high-profile European organisations. Overseeing the Group’s entire HR function, she is responsible for the recruitment and personal development of its 600+ workforce. A firm believer that nothing happens without sound leadership and bottom-up opportunity, Chris is a champion of training – to ensure that crews are both safe and compliant with legal regulations.

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