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New rigging apprenticeship trialled in UK

Six trainees joined riggers from some of the industry's biggest names at the Barclaycard Arena last month to put the Trailblazer rigging apprenticeship through its paces

By IQ on 21 Jul 2016

Trainee rigger, Trailblazer rigging apprenticeship trial day

A trainee rigger at the trial day on 29 June

Rigging experts from Blackout, UK Rigging, RTM Rigging, Production Services Ireland (PSI) and the NEC Group came together at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham late last month for a trial run of the UK’s new live event rigging apprenticeship.

The apprenticeship, developed by the National Rigging Advisory Group (NRAG) as part of the British government’s Trailblazer scheme to create three million new apprentices by 2020, is designed to plug a gap in the number of trainees created by increasing demand for riggers for live events.

Apprentices will follow an on-the-job training programme accompanied by, among other things, certificated courses and two week-long residentials. Successful candidates will obtain a level-3 national vocational qualification (NVQ).

Six trainee volunteer riggers from Blackout and the NEC Group undertook a test rigging installation at the arena on 29 June, observed by assessors Mark Armstrong (RTM Rigging), Harry Box (UK Rigging), Sean Pagel (PSI) and rigging consultant Eric Porter. The assessors marked the trainees against six criteria: general health and safety; work methods; rigging skills and techniques; working at height; team work; and communication and behaviours.

“This apprenticeship is a big move for the industry, so ensuring the right assessment methods are implemented is paramount to its success”

Paul Rowlands, rigging development manager for the NEC Group, says: “The [trial] day provided us with some very insightful feedback that can be used when modifying the final assessment product. By involving both current trainees and an expert assessment team, we hope to provide a well-rounded and thorough apprenticeship, which stands apprentices in good stead for a career in rigging.

“This is a big move for the industry, so ensuring the right assessment methods are implemented is paramount to its success.”

Anyone interested in applying for the apprenticeship should email [email protected].

IQ revealed earlier this month that Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) is lobbying the British government to create a similar apprenticeship for aspiring ticket agents.


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