A month has now gone past since our first Capacity Building meeting took place in Tallinn and there’s been a lot to think about since then.

The enriching and varied discussions held throughout the meeting have given us much food for thought. It’s been useful to take a little time since then to digest and reflect upon the many topics, initiatives, future proposals and action plans that emerged from the two days that the meeting lasted (eighteen hours of daylight a day gives plenty of time for exchange and debate!).

Despite the huge variety of backgrounds that is a permanent feature when Pearle* members are gathered together, the number of common concerns as always outweighed specifically local issues. The changes in the way in which the workforce is employed and how to tackle the move towards alternative open-ended forms of employment (specifically contemplated by the European Pillar of Social Rights); the need to provide adequate training in order to equip the workforce with the relevant skills that our digital/technological society now demands; the firm belief that gender equality is a relic from the past and must be genuinely addressed; or the urgent need to deal with and eradicate sexual harassment from the live performance sector at all levels were just some of the serious topics discussed at the meeting. As well as learning about initiatives being undertaken at national level, the overriding conclusion was that there is a need to continue trying to identify ways of bringing live performance employers even closer together to work on common causes that ultimately lead to an improvement in the work/life balance and conditions provided by live performance organisations across Europe.

With all these topics in mind the Behind the Stage steering committee and the Pearle* team are already preparing the ground for the next capacity building meeting taking place in November in Antwerp, where we anticipate significant next steps will be taken to tackle many of the issues mentioned above and new ones will be addressed.

And while preparing the next Capacity Building meeting in Antwerp, we’re currently very much looking forward to the upcoming Pearle* 2018 Awards event taking place in Brussels on 22nd November. Although we’re aware that employers associations need to continuously renew and refresh their role and the services they provide (the very reason behind this project itself), at the same time we believe it’s important to recognise and highlight their many achievements in the sector. And what better way than by organizing an event designed with the intention of acknowledging and celebrating just that.

We hope you’ll join us, so please save the date!

Cristina Ward, Behind the Stage Project Officer

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