Music charity Neko Trust has partnered with event crewing company Gallowglass to launch a partnership that will aim to diversify the crewing workforce.

The Future Crew training scheme will feature an initial group of 10 young people aged 19 and over who are not in employment or training and who are claiming Universal Credit or facing significant barriers.

The charity said the scheme, which is being piloted between June and August, is a direct response to the Government’s Levelling Up agenda and youth employment crisis across London.

Over the summer, participants will take part in both paid work as event crew with Gallowglass as well as receiving free live event production training from Neko Trust covering tour management, production management, live sound and backline.

The programme will take place at SW19 Studios in South West London. Neko’s live event production training has also gained the support of the Wimbledon Foundation Community Fund through The London Community Foundation.

Participants will be given the opportunity to gain qualifications in health and safety, as well as IPAF and PASMA. They will also take part in career development sessions including task setting and CV writing, as well as mentoring from Gallowglass crew chiefs and Neko’s network of live events professionals.

Successful completion of the programme will lead to employment as event crew with Gallowglass, as well as the potential to progress into live event production roles.

The scheme follows the charity’s previous programme in 2021, Neko 18, which fast-tracked employment opportunities in the music industry for budding onstage and offstage talent.

Neko Trust CEO Mary Rose said, “We will be leaving no stone unturned to ensure this opportunity reaches passionate and motivated young people who want to work in the exciting world of live events but are often overlooked for such opportunities. Levelling up means giving everyone the opportunity to flourish, and we believe Future Crew is not only a direct response to this challenge but a strong and meaningful response to the challenges facing the live music sector when it comes to diversity and skills.”

Gallowglass group director of human resources Chris Parry-Jones said, “We all know that there are some real problems at the moment in the world of arts and events – skill shortages, a lack of diversity, and very few opportunities for disadvantaged young people. Gallowglass has done what it has always done by offering an entry solution to those problems. We are delighted and excited to be partnering with Neko Trust on the Future Crew initiative which will continue to help young people into our industry.”