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A focus on festival skills shortages

A Call Out to you

A focus on festival skills shortages

Bring on the summer! (…it may not feel particularly summery right now), many of you are looking forward to a season of music, theatre, dance, puppetry, carnivals and more as our industries get their planning finalised and begin preparations for a very busy summer of events and festivals.

Across the creative industries the timing of this couldn’t come soon enough yet cause a deep sense of foreboding too.


As employers and manufacturers grapple with the never decreasing circle of recruitment problems, we are at risk of being over-stretched, working very long hours and holding down two or three gigs at a time so that the show can go on.

In addition, rescheduled events and productions has a significant impact for our creative sector employers and the supply chain.

The impact is vast. It is no secret that many highly skilled people have left the creative industries during the Covid crisis, and the recruitment into training and up the ranks of employment has been hit hard too.

Putting aside the current issues, and the difficult scenario for many employers this creates, we must also consider what the state-of-play looked like prior to the lockdown and aspire to regain.

The industries were thriving. Numbers were up in terms of events, and the thirst for new projects ever growing. It would have been unthinkable to consider that Glastonbury would be cancelled, or Creamfields postponed. That street events and carnivals would have to hang their costumes up and park their floats. Our theatres would drop the safety curtain and leave a ghost light on stage.  And most upsetting of all, that an entire workforce would simply have to stop what they were doing.

But it did happen. As we all know far too well. Covid came and closed our venues.

It hit all of us one way or another, but those with the least means were walloped the hardest, and it drove thousands of people into new careers, or furlough lives, or unemployment. For many, this pain has not gone away.

The phone lines and emails have become hot as society begins to open up again, and now we realise our predictions were correct, and how deep this problem was going to be.

“Have you got any crew we could use?”,


“I cannot get a number 2 sound for the tour, any ideas?”

“We cannot get a make-up artist for love, nor money”, one producer told me.

“Are there any scenic artists anywhere?”, from another.

This is a simple message to everyone in the creative world.

Get the word out.

The jobs will be flying in thick and fast, and the opportunities will be awesome. Please share the news.

If you, or people you know, are the ones who have chosen new pathways are you able to consider coming back to the amazing family of the creative industries?

Are you worried about skills?

Come and talk with us. We can and will be helping people to find the confidence again. If you don’t already have a level 3 qualification, you can be funded to achieve one.

Are you an employer?

We would love to hear from you. Let us help you share the news about your events, the people you need to recruit, and the challenges you are facing.

Do you want to hold a networking event?

We are happy to host a networking opportunity for you at our amazing building in Essex. We are less than 30 minutes away from London and welcome anyone from the creative industries.

Are you working in a different sector?

Maybe you are working in different careers and have a range of transferable skills. Electrical engineering, telecommunications, carpentry and metal fabrication, manufacturing, or teaching? Do you commercially drive, or maybe have had a career in catering, security, recruitment, financial services, marketing, or law?

Ex-forces and military careers develop some outstanding skills. Experienced administration specialists and HR executives are the backbone of efficiency.

From the floor of the stage to the dizzy heights of a Boardroom, there are so many roles and job opportunities, which often surprises people when we tell them.

We want to hear from you.

Whatever the situation you are dealing with now, and in the coming months, are we able to help? From a simple posting of job opportunities to a feature article about the work you or your organisation do, we welcome hearing from you.

You can contact us at:


Author: Brian Warrens

All images © Brian Warrens. All rights reserved.