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The Future of Live Event Rigging

Earlier this year the government announced plans to support three million UK apprenticeships by 2020. It also announced approval of 59 group standards for ‘Trailblazer’ apprenticeships. This new initiative launched the first apprenticeship as a Live Event Rigger, the development of which was facilitated by NRAG (National Rigging Advisory Group).

For years, it has been widely acknowledged that although training is available, such as short courses and an assessment scheme through the National Rigging Certificate, there has been an increasing demand for resources to offer young people longer term development opportunities resulting in secure career paths.

Some of the people involved in developing the new Live Event Rigger apprenticeship comment:

The NEC Group’s Learning & Development Consultant, Claire Hawker: “There are only 600 event riggers in England with the demand often far outweighing supply at certain times of year, we recognise that the future of the trade is reliant on fresh talent coming up through the ranks. Trailblazers give us the opportunity to build on the trainee scheme we currently have in place, allowing the youngsters to benefit from the knowledge of our in-house expertise and be recognised in this highly talented sector at a national level.”

NRC Manager at PLASA, Paul Riddiford: “PLASA are delighted to fully support the Live Event Rigger Apprenticeship. As the scale of live events continues to grow bigger, heavier and more extreme, Rigger competence is of the utmost importance. Crews, performers and audiences all rely on the experience and expertise of Event Riggers and this formal structured learning apprenticeship will provide the riggers of tomorrow with the best information, experience, advice and guidance from industry experts, allowing them to first gain and then demonstrate that competence.”

Blackout’s HR Manager Adelaide Johannsen: “The techniques employed within live event rigging have been deployed by the very people who are leading our Trailblazers initiative. With the knowledge that a structured development for those deciding on a career in rigging is long overdue, our (NRAG) working group has developed the Live Event Rigger standard.

“Regulations naturally require Riggers and personnel involved with lifting operations to be competent. It is a safety critical occupation and the work demands a professional approach borne of years of experience for which there is no shortcut.

“With the industry growing, the demand for Live Event Riggers is heightened, hence the need for employers to work together and all take on responsibility to develop a core of dedicated, highly skilled individuals. This will ensure the skills gap is minimised and competent Live Event Riggers develop, qualified to work safely in a very hazardous and continually changing environment, and become recognised by way of a level 3 apprenticeship.”

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