Kiwi business events sector to develop vocational education opportunities

Mel Harrington, general manager, partnership & engagement at Ringa Hora.

Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) and Ringa Hora Services Workforce Development Council are coming together to develop vocational education and learning for the business events sector.

Ringa Hora will be adding its voice to the Workforce Steering Group, a collaborative forum for cross-sector industry representatives who are part of BEIA’s membership.

“Collaboration is at the heart of the development of the steering group that will include broad expertise from the industry representing small and large businesses and those in a leadership or management roles,” said BEIA chief executive Lisa Hopkins.

“Ringa Hora is focused on responding to industry needs by developing fit for purpose qualifications and standards. Initial feedback from industry is a desire to explore micro-credentials in the workplace that blends experiential learning and practical application based on business needs.

“This ties back to Pīata Mai’s vision of creating a resilient sector, attracting and retaining talent.

“Talent attraction firstly relies on people knowing the sector exists. Traditionally, the sector has attracted people from hospitality, tourism and PR, but there is additional breadth of variety and challenge which only business events offer.

“We hope that people from these sectors will see it as a next step in their career, and the vocational training supports this.”

Ringa Hora will have four representatives on the Workforce Steering Group, including a cross-section of senior and operational staff with expertise ranging from relationship management, qualifications, product development and moderation in the vocational education area.

“This supports the broader vocational education and training priorities outlined in the business events industry’s strategic direction to 2035 (Pīata Mai) and our own strategic vision,” said Mel Harrington, general manager, partnership & engagement for Ringa Hora.

“Our role is advocating on behalf of industry to contribute strategically to design qualifications and skills aligned with the strategic direction and national priorities.

“Importantly, in working with industry we want to showcase and celebrate role-models in businesses to recognise best practices and encourage future employees to be part of an exciting, fun and rewarding career in the business events sector.”

Industry members of the Workforce Steering Group members are:

Alana Bicknell, New Zealand International Convention Centre

Coltan Wright, Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre

Gillian Officer, Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre

Lisa Hopkins, Business Events Industry Aotearoa

Martin Langford, Ngāi Tahu Tourism

Sally Bunce, The Orange Agency

Sam Horsnell, Millennium Hotels & Resorts

Sarah McDonald, Destination Queenstown

Terri Lowsley, Conference Innovators

Tracy Martin, EVT