Harriet Fahey, pictured at the ICC in Sydney's Darling Harbour, is a participant in ICC Sydney's AV Graduate Program.
Harriet Fahey, pictured at the ICC in Sydney's Darling Harbour, is a participant in ICC Sydney's AV Graduate Program. Justin Sanson

Make your job an event

THE popularity of festivals and events staged across Australia is causing new demand for professionals to ensure they run smoothly.

An extra 5500 conference and event organisers (up 21 per cent) and 1200 performing arts technicians (9.5 per cent) are forecast to be needed in the five years to May 2022, Federal Government data shows.

This is on top of new positions forecast in related industries, such as hospitality (12,000 or 10 per cent more waiters, 11,900 or 12 per cent more bar attendants and baristas and 10,900 or 12 per cent more chefs), in security (4100 or 8 per cent more officers and guards) and marketing (6700 or 10.5 per cent more advertising and marketing professionals).

WorldSkills Australia chair Brian Wexham says the sector is growing as Australia has a lot to offer in attracting conferences and events.

"From rock music through to theatre shows, for all of these things somebody has to put them on, organise them and promote them,” he says.

"You've got a wide range of opportunities and you need good creative skills, organisational skills and people skills.”

"It's a dynamic and exciting area. If you get yourself a career in event management, you can go anywhere in the world and it offers many opportunities.”

On Seek last week there were about 59 roles advertised in event management, as well as 89 in programming and production, including audio visual technicians, and 32 in performing arts, including ushers.

International Convention Centre Sydney hosts events from exhibitions to concerts, employing about 1700 full-time and part-time workers.

Chief executive Geoff Donaghy says they are always looking for workers with a combination of skills, passion and positive attitude.

ICC Sydney offers training programs in specific fields where there is a shortage of skills in the market.

Its AV Graduate Program, for example, has taken on five aspiring audio visual technicians with varied levels of experience and formal training.

They will complete a paid 12-month program consisting of three-month rounds in audio, vision, lighting and rigging, with successful graduates offered a position in the venue's AV team of 45 full-time workers and about 150 casuals.

ICC Sydney audio visual services director Brian Nash says his team is particularly interested in encouraging women into AV roles.

"We are creating an atmosphere where they feel encouraged,” he says.

Graduate programs are also soon to be rolled out in the fields of event planning and culinary skills.

ICC Sydney will host free vocational careers expo Skills Show Australia and the WorldSkills Australia National Championships on June 2-4. Visit www.worldskills.org.au