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Ground breaking live Events Rigging Apprenticeship to be created

The NEC Group, together with 11 other leading industry employers, have been selected by the Government Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) to create  the first ever apprenticeship in Live Events Rigging.
Supported by industry experts and the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) the Trailblazer initiative will provide young people with a structured and measured pathway for those deciding on a career in rigging.


The NEC Group, who use riggers across a number of their venues including the Barclaycard Arena, Genting Arena, the ICC and the NEC, will help lead the way with the new initiative and also provide support for other smaller companies to do the same.

Rigging in the events industry services concerts, theatre, film, television and corporate presentation, not to mention sport and exhibitions.  There are currently only 600 qualified Event Riggers in England and the demand for this specific skill set can outweigh the supply. Trailblazers will help develop a core of dedicated, highly skilled working individuals.

The Trailblazers apprenticeships are tailored to the industry needs and can fill any skills gaps they may have, enabling the employer to write their own standards in order to ensure that the apprenticeship framework matches the needs of the apprentice and reflects the requirements of the role.

Paul Rowlands, Rigging Development Manager for the NEC Group and chair of this initiative, said “This is a major step in the rigging profession to be able to offer a structured opportunity for young people to become skilled in the profession whilst working. Although the NEC Group has been central to the development of opportunities for those wishing to take up rigging as a career previously, this is a first for the rigging sector of our industry and it is great that it is being supported by leaders in the field of rigging and leading national employers.

“We have a skills gap in the sector with demand for riggers at times of the year often exceeding our ability to supply.  This new apprenticeship being recognised on a national scale will help to overcome this as well as offer a chance for young people to work in a highly trained profession.”

Robin Elias, Technical Director of Unusual Rigging Ltd, who has pledged his company’s full support, to this initiative, said, “This employer led, Government funded, apprenticeship scheme, dovetails very nicely into the existing National Rigging Certificate framework

 “This is another important step, for the Rigging Industry, which will undoubtedly help to promote Best Practice and the Highest Standard of Safety, in the workplace.”

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