A detailed overview of the different seminars occurring during the BtS Academy, with direct reference to the sub-topics of reference from the European Pillar of Social Rights

Seminar #1: Managers, lonely leaders? The state of play in relation to the workforce and the unions

Tallinn – May 2018

The European Pillar of Social Rights states that labour markets and societies are evolving quickly, with new opportunities and new challenges arising from …changing work patterns and societal and demographic developments (1), and also that …the transition towards open-ended forms of employment shall be fostered (2). Do current relationships between employers and the workforce in your country take into account the changes taking place in the way most people will be employed in the future? Is it still an “us and them” relationship or is there a move towards a more united front? Are initiatives being undertaken that help pave the way towards this new employment scenario? The intention of this session is to share knowledge among the participants with regard to the state of play with the unions in their countries, hear about specific cases in which new relationships with the workforce are being fostered and identify new ways of working together harmoniously.

(1) Point 9, page 7 European Pillar of Social Rights

(2) “Fair working conditions”, point 05a, page 14 European Pillar of Social Rights

Seminar #2: Friend or foe? Relations with third parties: from advocacy groups to collecting societies

Tallinn – May 2018

The preamble to the European Pillar of Social Rights upholds that the Union takes into account the key role of social partners and that the social partners have committed to continue contributing to a Europe that delivers for its workers and enterprises (3). The strength of an employer lies not only in its relationship with the workforce but also its connection to other bodies and organisations, both as a way of upholding its position as a key player but also in order to offer a more varied portfolio of services to its members. Questions that are be addressed in this session, include: how do you work together with other organisations with whom you share the same goals or objective? How do you deal with complicated interactions with other organisations with diverging views? What experience can you share on sectoral agreements with other interest representative organisations, trade associations or other bodies? This session examines ways in which employers associations can nurture and develop relationships and agreements that help to achieve this.

(3) Point 7, page 6 European Pillar of Social Rights

Seminar #3: Skills, a matter of finding and retaining people with the right skills. Identifying skills shortages in the sector and how to address the challenge of filling the gaps

Tallinn – May 2018

The European Pillar of Social Rights maintains that everyone has the right to …acquire skills that enable them to participate fully in society and manage successfully transitions in the labour market (4). The new Skills Agenda for Europe, adopted by the Commission on 10 June 2016, launched 10 actions to make the right training, skills and support available to people in the EU. The goals and actions on the Agenda are set out in Communication: A New Skills Agenda for Europe.At the same time, issues on training, lifelong learning and skills have been an ongoing theme on the agenda of the European social partners ‘live performance’, including several projects as well as participation and contribution to update and improve the taxonomy of occupations and related skills and competences of those that are working in our sector. Pearle has also since many years relation with the European association of conservatoires and with education institutes on theatre technical training.

In recent years, partly as a result of the digital revolution and partly due to the evolution of the live performance sector, there has been a shift in the nature of skills demanded by the working environment and by employers.A recent research project (5) undertaken by SOLT/UKtheatre identified current and future training needs of the theatre and performing arts sector in relation to the offstage workforce.The survey undertaken by Pearle in January revealed that in certain countries there is a lack of particular artistic occupations or a difficulty to attract or keep certain profiles of technicians. Questions  addressed in this session are: when we look at the organisations that we run and consider the expectations from audiences, demands from the public authorities (to obtain funding) and the impact and development of the digital environment what are our expectations from those working in our sector? which skills are in demand or become obsolete? What are the reasons? What role can or should employers and employers associations play in addressing those? And what about new skills? What kind of innovative solutions and alternatives should we put in place to keep the labour  market in our sector healthy, active and attractive?

(4) “Equal opportunities and access to the labour market”, point 1, page 11 European Pillar of Social Rights

(5) June 2017, see https://uktheatre.org/theatre-industry/guidance-reports-and-resources/theatre-workforce-review/

Seminar #4: Cynthia Harrison Villalba, European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP)

Plovdiv, May 2019

Behind the Stage is also an opportunity to introduce to members European agencies or bodies which are working on a particular area of expertise related to European policies and objectives. In Tallinn we presented the EiGE, European institute on Gender equality. This time we are happy to present the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP).

Cedefop works to strengthen European cooperation and provide the evidence on which to base European VET policy, as the right VET policies depend on understanding how economies, societies and people are changing. If the EU is to have the right skills to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow, training must be of high quality. The right policies need to be in place to ensure that people learn the right things; that their skills, no matter if they have acquired them in the formal training system or by working are recognised and that they can have the training they need when they need it.

Cedefop has therefore a wealth of information, research and know how on supporting governments, social partners, training providers on developing right strategies for vocational training.

Cynthia Harrison-Villalba will present the work of the Cedefop in the area of adult learning, as it is a particular challenge for our sector how to integrate lifelong learning and more in particular a ‘learning culture’ in our performing arts organisations. In this regard one will be able to learn from the guidance (ELGPN guidelines) that Cedefop developed for employers in the context of those already employed.

Seminar #5: The live performance sector and funding opportunities in the MFF (Multi financial framework) post 2021

Plovdiv, May 2019

In her closing key note, Cristina Loglio will address the question on how employers’ associations and their members can benefit from European funding in the context of the currently discussed Multiannual Financial framework, applying from 2022 onwards.

Besides the Creative Europe programme particularly for the cultural sector, or the ESF European Social Fund providing support to initiatives related to employment and skills, there are also other opportunities and options for funding

Seminar #6: Keynote “Rethinking Cultural Management: the case for civil disobedience”

Porto, November 2019

Based on research on the relationship between artists-producers-managers, Vania Rodrigues will frame her intervention as an opportunity to reconsider the relations between artists, producers and managers by looking into the failures of cultural management as a recently established discipline and practice.

She will be arguing for the need to experiment with different models of work in the performing arts which take into consideration a collaboration ethos and avoid the pitfalls of self-exploitation, and make a plea to rescue production and cultural management roles from their technocratic drive.

by Vânia Rodrigues