Gallowglass and NEKO Trust launch event crew training scheme

Neko Trust – a live music industry charity – has joined forces with Gallowglass, the event crewing company, to launch Future Crew, a training scheme to tackle the lack of diversity in backstage crew and support the reskilling of the sector.

The programme is being piloted until August 2022 to inspire young people most in need to access jobs and training. The initial group will be 10 young people aged 19 and over, not in employment or training and who are claiming Universal Credit or facing significant barriers.

Future Crew is a direct response to the Government’s Levelling Up agenda and youth employment crisis across London and represents an opportunity to build the music industry back following the exodus of talent during lockdown.

Over the summer, participants will enjoy both paid work as event crew with Gallowglass, gaining experience at a diverse range of events, as well as receiving free live event production training from Neko Trust covering tour management, production management, live sound and backline.

The programme will take place at SW19 Studios in South West London, a music hub offering rehearsal, storage and offices, which has offered the charity space for free. Neko’s live event production training has also gained the support of the Wimbledon Foundation Community Fund through The London Community Foundation.

Participants will be given the opportunity to gain industry recognised qualifications in health and safety, as well as IPAF and PASMA, and will benefit from career development sessions including task-setting and CV writing, as well as mentoring from Gallowglass crew chiefs and Neko’s network of live events professionals.

Importantly, successful completion of the programme will lead to guaranteed employment as event crew with Gallowglass, as well as the potential to progress into live event production roles.

Future Crew is the latest initiative from Neko Trust in partnership with Gallowglass, leading on from Neko 18 in 2021, which fast-tracked employment opportunities in the music industry for budding onstage and offstage talent.

Mary Rose, CEO of Neko Trust, said: “Neko Trust is actively driving forward the diversification and reskilling of the live music sector with its partnership with Gallowglass. Together, we want to attract and support a new talent pipeline in live events production by creating training and employment opportunities for individuals from all backgrounds. We will be leaving no stone unturned to ensure this opportunity reaches passionate and motivated young people who want to work in the exciting world of live events but are often overlooked for such opportunities. Levelling up means giving everyone the opportunity to flourish, and we believe Future Crew is not only a direct response to this challenge but a strong and meaningful response to the challenges facing the live music sector when it comes to diversity and skills.”

Chris Parry-Jones, head of HR at Gallowglass, said: “We all know that there are some real problems at the moment in the world of arts and events  – skill shortages, a lack of diversity, and very few opportunities for disadvantaged young people. Gallowglass has done what it has always done by offering an entry solution to those problems. We are delighted and excited to be partnering with Neko Trust on the Future Crew initiative which will continue to help young people into our industry.”