The UK Events Industry Board Talent Taskforce has launched a research programme that will assess how the sector attracts, develops and retains its talent.

In support of the Government’s Business Visits and Events strategy, the research will examine current skills, training and education and HR processes. It will provide recommendations to the Events Industry Board as to how a sustainable, competitive, highly-skilled workforce can be developed in a post-Brexit environment.

Michael Hirst OBE, interim chairman of the Events Industry Board, commented: “I’m delighted that representative bodies from the entire events sector have enthusiastically come together to collaborate on this project, which is a key part of DCMS’s work in promoting the competitiveness of the sector. This gives everyone the chance to inform the strategy that will help ensure the continued pre-eminence of the UK events industry.”

Sarah Wright, chairwoman of the EIB Talent Taskforce, said: “We believe the UK leads the world – both as a destination and as a provider of event management services – but it’s essential that our industry recruits and keeps the best people if we are to remain competitive on a global scale. Our research will seek evidence on everything from skills gaps to industry HR processes.”

The package of qualitative and quantitative research will be undertaken in collaboration with UK events industry trade associations whose members represent the exhibitions sector, business and corporate, and major international events.

Wright added: “We’ll be collating data from existing research and gathering new evidence from across the industry. Our research will take the form of an online survey to be completed by employers by early September, together with a series of roundtable discussions.”

Around 30 telephone interviews will also be conducted with industry leading employers to explore the potential implications of a UK events industry skills shortage and impact of Brexit on the sector.

The research will also include a study on global competitiveness of the events industry workforce and the critical interdependencies with other sectors such as tourism and hospitality, catering, venues and hotels, which are currently outside the scope of the in-depth employers’ survey.

It is expected that the final report will be completed early in the New Year and will also include input from a broader range of bodies including the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP), Visit Britain and the Tourism Industry Council.