Live Performance Australia (LPA) has called for a national skills and careers pathway framework for the live arts and entertainment industry.
The hope is to rebuild following the impact of the pandemic and ensure future growth in the sector.
LPA has called for support because of the critical skills shortages that are having an impact on the industry in Australia, particularly in technical and production-related roles. This includes support for accredited training or short courses, industry-led skills development initiatives and traineeships, as well as international mutual recognition for occupations in critical short supply.
The live performance body is calling for support for employee assistance programmes to promote safe workplaces and better mental health, and has also recommended a national First Nations Arts Skills and Workforce Plan to provide more opportunities for First Nations Australians.
Evelyn Richardson, chief executive of Live Performance Australia, said: “There is a huge range of skills and occupations required to present a theatre show or support a concert tour or music festival, and shortages or disruption in just one part of the skills supply chain can have a compounding effect across the entire industry.
“COVID-19 had a devastating effect on the industry and its workforce which was the first to be shut down by public health restrictions and one of the last to reopen. Skills and industry capabilities that had been developed over years were lost overnight.
“We are back on stages across the country, but with a substantially smaller workforce. Fewer people are working longer and harder to bring Australians the live performances they love. And we are still dealing with daily disruption of COVID which is impacting performers, artists and crews.”
Richardson added: “‘Our industry is working hard to marshal its resources and look after its people, but the reality is we will need a strong commitment from Australian governments to establish the skills and training framework to underpin a sustainable and successful live arts and entertainment industry into the future.”