Many major events often involve several countries or take place in across boundaries. These cross-border events require the internationally flexible and legally compliant deployment of specialists, especially with regard to security-relevant areas. This poses a major challenge to the industry, as specialized personnel are trained to different standards depending on the country. The project ECVAET 3 – The European Master Craftsman Training in Event Engineering – has set itself the goal of standardizing the qualification of skilled personnel in Europe.
Ralf Stroetmann: “The basis of master craftsman training is later equal in all EU countries”The Association for Media and Event Technology e. V. (Verband für Medien- und Veranstaltungstechnik e. V.) is a longtime project partner and central input donor in the ECVAET project series funded by the European Commission and the EU Educational Program Erasmus+. Ralf Stroetmann, Divisional Director Education & Law at the VPLT and contact person for the European Master, explains in an interview the challenges and further steps on the way to a uniform qualification.
1. In August 2017, the results of the EU project ECVAET 3 – The European Master Craftsman Training in Event Engineering – were published. Can you briefly summarize these?
Ralf Stroetmann: The requirements across EU countries are very similar! This was revealed by a large-scale poll of German-language regions. Master craftsman tasks are based on practical and theoretical competences, e.g. in regards to stage technology, power supply, structural engineering, logistics. However, they don’t have to be specialists in these fields because their duties are that of a manager. But that also fits with the definition of level six of the EQF6 (European Qualification Framework). This designates the guarantee of safety at technical settings and work and health protection as being particularly relevant. However, managing projects, business action, and well-developed soft skills, e.g. leadership of employees or interacting with others involved in the events, have been developed as important aspects.
2. What are the next steps in terms of standardizing the master craftsman training in event technology across Europe?
Ralf Stroetmann: The project was able to clearly distill the necessary competences, and even develop a model curriculum for the educational means. This establishes the foundation of realization in Europe. Now it’s time for the European countries to factor in the contents when reforming or creating master training programs. In Germany, the examination regulations for event engineering are currently being revised and naturally the results of the project are being taken into account through the position of the VPLT. Other EU countries will only be able to create such a training program in the future because often even a basic training program isn’t yet in place.
3. What are the benefits for the industry?
Ralf Stroetmann: The fundamental use lies in a reliable and unified shaping of competences, with only the country-specific (legal) particularities needing to be additionally instructed. Later on, the basis of the master craftsman training will be the same and it will not be necessary for the employers to compare the details in the context of their selection process. In our industry – active across Europe and internationally – this is very important because we work beyond national boundaries. There’s also a clear advantage for the master craftsmen themselves: this raises the possibility of exchanging experts between countries, and therefore increasing the chance of having a training certificate recognized in another country. This means an exchange of skilled professionals will be significantly simplified and made formally feasible for the first time – in line with the industry and the European Union!
4. Where do you see opportunities to harmonize the standards for master craftsmanship in Europe?
Ralf Stroetmann: Due to the lack of prerequisites, an adjustment in the actual sense can not currently take place in most countries. The present efforts must therefore aim to support these countries in the creation of a basic qualification “Event Technology Specialist” in order to then establish a master’s education based on our EU project. At the moment, I expect that this will be the first thing Austria and Switzerland will do, since there is already an event-related training there. All in all a project that once again sets the course for the future.