In fact, education is more important now than ever. Imagine your head rigger – the person who knows every nut and bolt on your rig, and has looked after every major touring production coming through your venue in the last 40 years – decides to leave? This is not just an example; it’s a distinct possibility. And it’s not just those at the top of the ladder (pun intended), crew/staff at all levels are exiting the industry.
In recent years, during EPFE we have discussed the challenges of keeping trained and experienced crew from following the money westwards or northwards, or using their transferable skills to find more stable employment with more sociable hours in other sectors. Add a pandemic to that scenario, without a financial safety net for the majority of our at least partially skilled temporary crew and… BOOM! There goes your crew, taking their skills and experience with them.
As for those crew members that remain, are they rested and refreshed, keen to get back to work? Have they been busy reading up on the latest rules and regulations, completed all those training courses they have been meaning to do for years? Well… probably not. Actually, from the feedback we have received from the frontline, crew members are experiencing a lack of muscle memory, and despite additional training, accident books are frequently being filled in. So in this panel, we will focus our attention on re-education.