posted on 10 january, 2016

Our first EWL coffee morning was held at the beginning of December, in the beautiful Trinity House, and attended by event professionals from Component Events, Clipper Events, Proud Events, Wildgoose Events, No 4 Hamilton Place, Baker & McKenzie, CIPFA and Searcys.

The discussion centred on the new event apprenticeship programme currently being developed and led by industry consultant, Sarah Wright and First Protocol Managing Director, Mark Riches.

Our host for the morning, Harriet Bullen of First Protocol and a key member of the trailblazer team, led an interesting debate on the focus of the scheme and it’s anticipated launch early this year.

The event management trailblazer group first gained approval from government to develop the standard in March last year, with a final version submitted in September. Over forty industry professionals committed to developing the scheme, and when approved, supporting the employment of apprentices.

The standard is currently being refined for it’s final approval and launch in April of this year.

Apprenticeships are not just for under graduated, but also people from disadvantaged backgrounds and once online any trainer or employer can take on apprentices.

The scheme will also be open to ex-offenders offering a chance of a fresh start and to turn lives around, although the general consensus around the table was that vetting and disclosure of information, as well as crb checks, etc. would be absolutely necessary in order to instill confidence.

The application process will be the same as for anyone applying for a job role or position within a company. An apprenticeship lasts approximately 18 months with the apprentice gaining a level 3 qualification or entry level standard in event management.

As an employer, you would be required to pay the minimum wage, and offer the same level of support you would a normal employee. Support is also available from the government with extra funding for employing 16-18 year olds.

Mentoring was identified as a key decision factor by attendees, and most small businesses would need a support network, something that is being looked at and addressed however, most employers will find that apprentices are eager to learn and develop skills and a number of companies in the industry have expressed an interest already.

For more information on the scheme you can contact the Trailblazer team at

A fantastic inaugural coffee morning and we’ll be watching the development of the event apprenticeship very closely, watch this space for further updates.

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