Event Training Centre offers free volunteer training

The Event Training Centre has won government funding to provide free vocational courses for volunteers at events.

Event Training Centre offers free courses
Event Training Centre offers free courses
The courses cover alcohol and drug awareness, stewarding and crowd management and are open to anyone in the industry.

Oliver Gardiner, director of the Event Training Centre which is based in Portsmouth, told Event: "We’ve spent the last eight months working with Locog and local colleges on 'Bridging the Gap' which is the Olympic stewarding training programme. Now that our links with colleges are strong we’ve been given clearance for funded courses."

The centre has contacted clients of its sister company Vespasian Security, including Meadowlands festival and Y-Not festival, and will deliver courses to south London music festival LeeFest. "All of the LeeFest volunteer stewards will be trained in stewarding and their bar staff are going to go through the substance abuse training," said Gardiner. "The volunteers will turn up a day before they would usually arrive, and we can train them all on site."

The funded course programme is designed to help event organisers to meet objectives laid out in the licensing act. It teaches NCFE Level 1 in Alcohol Awareness, HABC Level 1 in Substance Misuse and HABC Level 2 in Understanding Stewarding in Spectator Events and in Conflict Management.

Gardiner told Event that safety training could be lacking for volunteer staff at some events: "To our knowledge, bar staff at temporary events receive very good training in motivation and service rather than anything else. At large festivals people may only be behind the bar for three or four hours and then they get their free ticket and go off into the event. Many of the smaller festivals are now running their own bar operations and I think training on site is quite time consuming for them. We can come in and give them the option of a nationally recognised training.

"Another problem is that sometimes volunteers sign up and don’t turn up which means planning training is costly and can create a barrier. But our courses are free and anyone who wants one can have one."

To find out more about the courses visit the Event Training Centre website here.

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