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PRESS INFORMATION

1 March 2007

PLASA joins National Skills Academy Alliance

PLASA has joined the alliance of employers and industry bodies backing the National Skills Academy for the creative and cultural industries.

The Academy is designed to address shortages in offstage and technical skills for live music and the performing arts. Detailed plans being prepared by Creative & Cultural Skills, the employer-led Sector Skills Council, will be submitted to the government in April 2007.

As part of the initiative, PLASA is one of the key members of the Project Steering Group and therefore will play a significant and strategic role, not only in the development of the NSA, but potentially in its roll out and operations, ensuring that it delivers industry-specified training to the very highest international standards. PLASA will also lead a drive to raise capital and in-kind support from its members for development of the Academy. £3million of the estimated £10million start-up costs have to be raised by industry with the balance provided by the government on final approval of the project plans.

The National Skills Academy aligns to one of PLASA's core objectives, namely to provide assessment and vocational qualifications through industry consensus. The shortage of skilled, experienced and qualified technical staff is holding back the growth and development of the industry and PLASA sees this is an unparalleled opportunity to ensure the industry has the right people in years to come.

At the same time as PLASA has given its backing to a National Skills Academy for the creative and cultural industries, the government has opened a new national academy to raise the UK's manufacturing skill set. The £14million scheme, which will have its national headquarters in Birmingham, is intended to kick-start a production line for the next generation of UK manufacturing workers and aims to train up to 40,000 people per year by 2012.

Notes to Editors:

PLASA is the lead professional body for businesses that supply technologies and services to the event, entertainment and installation industries. Operating from offices in Europe and North America, the Association provides business support services to its growing worldwide membership, writes industry standards, leads the development of qualifications and focuses on improving the business practices adopted by the industry. With over 1100 members worldwide, it represents one of the largest member networks in the industry.

PLASA also runs successful media and events divisions and is responsible for the industry-leading magazines Lighting&Sound International, Lighting&Sound America and Protocol and the PLASA Show in London, together with the European and North American regional PLASA Focus events.

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