Over the past few months Pearce Hire has embraced it’s CSR (corporate social responsibility) and established a link with a local further education college to provide an internship programme for young people in their locality.
Peterborough Regional College runs a BTEC Extended Diploma in Music Technology. It is a 2-year full-time vocational course covering all aspects of music technology and is equivalent to studying for 3 A-Levels. Subjects covered include live sound and production; studio recording; acoustics and audio engineering; and media, marketing and promotional skills.
The link established between Pearce Hire and Peterborough Regional College has enabled those students with an interest in the Live Events sector to go into the workplace of this busy production and hire company and learn the ropes in a bona-fide work environment.
The idea was originally mooted by Shaun Pearce, MD of Pearce Hire because of his enthusiasm for supporting youngsters in the sector, and instilling a foundation of ‘best practice’ from the start of their careers.
‘I’m a keen advocate of supporting the ‘next generation’ of technicians and production managers in our industry’ explains Pearce. ‘Whilst there are a myriad of vocational courses that students can take in relation to this industry, whatever you learn in a classroom can only really be understood once supported by hands-on experience in the workplace.’
‘We decided to formalise our commitment to the young people studying at the college, and to give them a real taster for what it is like to work in this dynamic and creative industry of ours. I can’t deny it’s a two-way street of course - by engaging with students at the college, we can hopefully begin to build up a valid database of qualified localised crew whom we can call on at busy times in the year.’
Greg Sieling, course leader at Peterborough Regional College, is as passionate as Shaun about what they are setting up.
‘Students on our BTEC course with a particular flair or passion for live event production are cherry-picked to join the 6-week placement with Pearce Hire. It is the first time we have engaged with a local commercial organisation to provide a practical work experience programme of this kind and it has been extremely well received by everyone involved in the process. The feedback from the students is very positive, because they are developing their competencies in a formalised and practical way. We are using a log-book structure to record the skills they are learning and actively using on their placement.’
The pilot scheme took place in July and has been swiftly followed by a second intake of students in the past month. ‘These placements are giving ambitious students who want a career in the live events and production sector an invaluable insight into the expectations of the industry’ explains Greg. ‘It is also giving them some relevant work experience to bolster their CVs’.
And what of the students? How do they feel about the opportunity of a 6-week internship with Pearce Hire?
David Richardson was one of the first in-take of students earlier this year. Not only did he fully embrace the opportunity of working in Pearce Hire’s warehouse to gain practical experience, he was so good at what he did, the company has now offered him a permanent part-time role whilst he completes his B-TEC course. All this with a view to it becoming his first full time job once he graduates in Summer 2014.
‘It has been a dream placement that looks likely to turn into my dream job!’ he enthuses.
What more could any young person looking to work in this industry ask for?