More than 2,000 event management students from across the country have signed up to Event People, a new scheme designed to help students build careers within the sector. Leading universities and organisations such as London Marathon, Formula 1, The Rugby League World Cup 2021, FIFA and The Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 have joined forces to back the initiative.

The events industry is worth £70 billion annually to the UK economy, but the impact of COVID-19 has been devastating, and a recent study showed almost two thirds of students felt negative about their future careers.

Event People will give students access to insight, training, networking and on the ground experience by working with universities across the UK, experts from the industry and Event Grads, a community of event management students looking for work.

“We’re asking everyone who has an interest in developing the next generation of event managers to join us, by sharing expertise and opportunities,” said John Tasker, co-director of Event People. “We are giving students a pathway to build a career in the industry and developing the next generation of talent.”

Organisers of some of the country’s biggest events are supporting Event People by sharing their expertise and offering the chance for students to gain the grounding they need to break into the industry.

“Encouraging and supporting more people into a career in events is something we all need to do, and something I’m very happy to support, especially as live events start to return,” said Gareth Mulcahy, head of product (events and sports) at Cancer Research UK.

Twenty universities across the UK have recognised the importance of hands- on experience and signed up to work with Event People, including The UK Centre for Events Management at Leeds Becket University, Manchester Metropolitan University, London Metropolitan University and Glasgow Caledonian University.

Jonathan Sibley, senior lecturer in events management at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “The events industry places high value on practical experience, so it is vital for future professionals to gain hands-on skills and knowledge.”