Access All Areas for Careers in Live Entertainment

One of the UK’s hidden gems of the live events industry and learning is lifting the curtain on its secrets to encourage some of West Yorkshire’s most talented students to head to university.

Production Park in South Kirkby is the ‘go to’ location for the world’s top performers when planning their live events. A creative hub, it is home to every element of live events from set construction through to rehearsals and tour catering. It is also home to Backstage Academy where the next generation of live events technicians learn their skills and work towards degree accredited qualifications.

For one night only on Thursday April 26, Production Park is transforming into a careers centre for students from eight Wakefield District sixth form colleges and schools. In a unique collaboration with Go Higher West Yorkshire the students and their parents will see performances, hear from students and professionals from the live events industry and then take part in workshops and demonstrations from some the regions best higher education institutions.

The invitation only event is geared to highlight to talented sixth formers, who may not be considering university that not all degrees are the same.

The students will see the diversity of courses and career options including planning, staging, lighting, catering, costume design and make up and get the chance to quiz live events practitioners. They will also get an insight from Glen Rowe, MD, of Backstage Academy about his own career as a tour director of for Muse and discover how the degree accredited faculty combines classroom learning with on tour work experience.

Glen Rowe, MD of Backstage Academy

Starting with performances by Minsthorpe Community College and Airedale College which have been planned by students from conception through to on stage delivery the delegates will see and hear how it all happened and how they can be part of the same transformation process.

As one of the fastest growing and most sustainable industries in the UK, Production Park and Backstage Academy are keen to attract some of the brightest and best of the current crop of sixth formers.

Glen Rowe said: “I have had a fantastically rewarding and diverse career in live events. No two days are the same because you are never in the same location for long. In addition, it is a growing industry contributing £90bn plus annually to the UK economy and offering opportunities to skilled and ambitious young people in sectors including planning, staging, lighting, catering, costume design and make up.

“Here at Production Park we work with the world’s leading artists and their designers to bring their dreams to reality. The best way to demonstrate what we do and how we do it is to bring young people in and show them how they can be part of it.

“Our Access all Areas collaboration with Go Higher West Yorkshire is designed to prove that degree course are designed to be relevant and lead to rewarding careers. Our lecturers are industry experts, who still work in live events and help their students gain exciting work experience.

Adrian Brooks, Chair of Production Park said: “The live events industry is vibrant and thriving. Employment in the Creative Industries is growing four per cent faster than the standard UK rate and graduates from our Backstage Academy have great earning potential when they leave our degree courses. During their time with us they also get to work on actual major live events and get a real taste for the industry while seeing career opportunities they could never have imagined. The sector is constantly changing, and we want to promote these excellent opportunities to local young people and their families.

Helen Sykes, Partnership Manager at Go Higher West Yorkshire commented: “This is a great event to highlight the wide range of higher education courses available and providers young people can choose from which offer exciting and vocational higher education qualifications.”

The schools taking part are all based in the Wakefield District. They are:

• Minsthorpe Community College
• Airedale College
• Wakefield College
• New College Pontefract
• St Wilfred’s Catholic High School
• Featherstone Academy
• Kings School
• De Lacy Academy

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