Festival founder and GM Night Time Economy Adviser hosts Work Place Safari of Parklife set for local students to learn about hospitality industry

Date published: 10 June 2022


Schoolchildren from Greater Manchester - including a number from Oldham - were given the chance to hear first-hand from people working in the festival industry during a tour of the Parklife Festival set in Heaton Park.

The city-region’s Night Time Economy Adviser and co-creator of Parklife Sacha Lord invited children from 10 schools in Greater Manchester on a ‘Work Place Safari’ of the festival set while it is in build mode yesterday (Thursday(. 

Mr Lord first launched Parklife back in 2010 at Platt Fields Park, with the likes of artists such as Snoop Dogg, Liam Gallagher and Skepta previously headlining.

The festival has since moved to Heaton Park and employs over 4,500 people across the weekend.

The Workplace Safari is part of the Meet Your Future project, a partnership which includes Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), The Careers and Enterprise Company and BridgeGM, to give young people workplace shadowing opportunities showcasing the amazing breadth of careers across Greater Manchester. 

During a morning session more than 50 Year 10 students, aged 14 to 15, experienced Parklife without the crowds and heard about all of the different jobs available in this area of hospitality and leisure.

An afternoon session for 50 children from Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) schools in the city-region took part in a tour which was tailored to their needs. 

Young people attending the tour were given the opportunity to find out what goes into putting on the largest Metropolitan festival in the UK, while also hearing from a range of staff members ranging from sound and lighting engineers, catering workers and set design staff.

They were also invited to ask questions to find out about what qualifications are needed to enter the industry. 

Mr Lord said: “Events such as Parklife don’t happen overnight.

"They take months of preparation, planning and hard work behind the scenes, and we have been excited to showcase this to the attendees today.

“These students may be the set designers, musicians or hospitality operators of the future, and after an extremely difficult few years for the industry, we hope today’s behind-the-scenes access has provided an exciting and inspiring overview of what a career in events can look like.”

Councillor Bev Craig, GMCA Lead for Education, Skills, Work, Apprenticeships and Digital and Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Music festivals and events are an important part of our lives, but many people are not fully aware of the amount of career opportunities these industries create and the skills you need to get there.

"We are also very proud of our musical heritage in Greater Manchester and it is vital we pass on these skills and opportunities to future generations. 

“Meeting role models in different businesses settings can help future generations imagine their future and make sure that Greater Manchester residents benefit from the huge opportunities that our city region offers.

"Many employers already engage with local communities and we are now encouraging other businesses to consider hosting events like a workplace safari to help inspire and grow Greater Manchester’s workforce.

"I commend Parklife for what will have been an exciting experience for the young people taking part today, and as leader of Manchester City Council know the benefits the festival brings to the Greater Manchester economy.”

Schools and SEND schools taking part in the morning Workplace Safari session include Oulder Hill, in Rochdale, The Radclyffe School, in Chadderton, Melland High, in Manchester, Castlefield School, in Manchester and Parrenthorn in Bury.

Schools participating in the afternoon session include The Canterbury Centre, in Salford, Newbridge, in Oldham, Elms Bank, in Bury, The Grange, in Manchester and Redwood in Rochdale.

Meet Your Future has already generated thousands of encounters for young people in Greater Manchester, including 66 virtual Q&A sessions with employers from 2021 to 2022.

The sessions were attended by 62 schools, with an audience of more than 55,000 young people. 

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, GMCA Lead for Young People, said: “Meet Your Future has been vital in bridging the gap between school and the workplace, helping connect young people in Greater Manchester to the different opportunities out there. 

“We know the coronavirus crisis has been difficult for young people in our city-region and it is vital work experience and shadowing opportunities are back on track, to build ambitions on the types of careers available.

"It is fantastic Sacha was able to show that Parklife isn’t just all about the music but could also be a career opportunity for some of the young people attending the workshop today.” 

Young people interested in finding out about apprenticeships and further education opportunities are urged to visit the GMACS platform, which is part of the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s commitment to ensure every person has access to opportunities and no one is left behind. 

The site has recently undergone a refresh to further meet the needs of young people in the city-region.

The site is a tool for young people to find support and information, making sure they have the best advice and resources to create their future in Greater Manchester.


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