Performing arts industry and Skills Active working in concert to strengthen the skill base

March 31, 2017

Skills Active Aotearoa is the new industry training organisation for the performing arts, as of 1 April.

With strong support from industry groups, Skills Active this month achieved recognition from Tertiary Education Commission to expand the scope of its gazetted coverage to include performing arts.

As the current ITO for sport and recreation, Skills Active has more than 20 years’ experience in creating world-class qualifications and on-job training programmes, and supporting New Zealand organisations to deliver those programmes to staff.

As an active form of recreation, performing arts is a natural fit with Skills Active, and will join the other industries within its scope – sport, community recreation, exercise, outdoor recreation and snowsport.

The Ministry of Culture and Heritage has long made a case for an ITO for performing arts, noting that despite a strong culture of on-the-job learning, without an ITO the industry lacks a consistent framework for developing and recognising skillsets acquired in the course of work.

Skills Active's application to become the ITO for performing arts was also supported by a number of key industry bodies and organisations. During consultation, these organisations described the introduction of ITO coverage as a positive development for the industry that would lead to more integrated and relevant training, and clearer career progression for staff. They also saw the potential for an ITO to contribute to better advocacy, influence and leadership in the industry.

The occupations covered under Skills Active’s extended scope are those that involve the support, management, promotion and delivery of performing arts, including:

Production (entertainment technicians and stage managers)

Education (performing arts instructors and teachers)

Venues and facilities (stadia, theatres and arenas)

Skills Active will develop qualifications and programmes, initially, in the areas of entertainment and event operations, and entertainment technology.

These two areas were identified, through consultation with industry, as having the most pressing need for access to industry training.

More skills, clearer pathways, stronger industry

"Performing arts organisations have a long history of training their own staff,” says Skills Active chief executive Dr Grant Davidson.

“In partnership with Skills Active, the industry will continue to apply its considerable expertise in building up workers’ technical and production skills, while now also helping them to achieve recognised national qualifications.”

Dr Davidson says this historic partnership will strengthen career pathways and the recognition of skills for all those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the performing arts happen.

“That includes the stage managers, technicians and venue staff, teachers and instructors, and the many others who put their hearts and souls into creating works of art for audiences to enjoy.”

In the coming days Skills Active will also announce a social media campaign to celebrate the industry and showcase some of its participants and fans.


Media contact for Skills Active

Esther McLaren
0220 371 012

About Skills Active

Skills Active Aotearoa is the industry training organisation (ITO) for sport, recreation, exercise, outdoor recreation and performing arts. We promote sport and recreation careers and workforce development, create world-class, nationally-recognised qualifications, and support workplaces to train staff.