UK: The two organisations announced at PLASA Focus last week that they are to endorse each other's skills initiatives, reports David Davies. As a result of the agreement, PLASA will support the ABTT (Association of British Theatre Technicians) in becoming one of the organisation's preferred assessment centres for the theatre sector, whilst the ABTT will actively endorse and support the future development of PLASA Qualifications.
PLASA Qualifications became an Awarding Body in 2008 as part of the organisation's aim to become the 'Industry Awarding Body'. The organisation is working with employers and individuals to develop recognised vocational qualifications, and is training Assessors in the sector to achieve the A1 Award.
The ABTT has been running Gold, Silver and Bronze Training Awards accredited by the RSAMD for more than ten years, during which time over 500 individuals have completed the courses.
Matthew Griffiths, MD of PLASA, tells PSN-e: "The ABTT and PLASA have been working together closely - and with other organisations - for a number of years in terms of qualification and skills, but the key drivers for this announcement are PLASA becoming an Awarding Body in its own right last year, and the ABTT, through their own efforts, [being] very firmly in the training provider route. So it made perfect sense to send a clear signal to the industry that the ABTT will support us with the qualifications and we will recommend them as one of the training providers we will be supporting."
Meanwhile, Griffiths says that the inaugural PLASA Focus regional event - which took place in Leeds on April 28/29 - "broke our expectations. It was absolutely fantastic_ The Leeds show will definitely take place again in 2010."
Meanwhile, the ABTT is continuing to prepare for the 2009 edition of its Theatre Show, during which it will reflect the enduring association between the theatre and education. A number of exhibitors who have supplied equipment for major school and theatre installations during recent years will be present, including Centre Stage Engineering and Canford Audio, both of whom were involved in a recent project at Alleyn's School (pictured) in Dulwich, south London.
The ABTT Theatre Show takes place at the Royal Horticultural Halls in Westminster, London, on June 10/11, and is set to host more than 100 companies, including first-time exhibitors such as Yamaha, SSE Hire, Red Square Audio and L-ACOUSTICS.