Professional Development Workshops Launched For Entertainment Industry


To address critical needs identified in the entertainment sector, the Vocational Training Development Institute (VTDI), the tertiary arm of the HEART Trust/National Training Agency (HEART/NTA), has launched a professional development workshop series for persons in the industry.
The series, to be staged in collaboration with the Caribbean Music Expo (CME), will be offered during the period March 12 to April 24.
These workshops are in response to results from recent research conducted among United States based record companies by the Jamaica Exporters Association’s Cluster Competitiveness Project, which identified management issues as core areas of concern in dealing with the Jamaican music product.
The results further showed that Jamaican Managers and artistes fell considerably behind the average manager in the areas most valued by the industry, particularly communication skills, reliability and stage craft. The informality and fragmented nature of the industry were also named as hurdles for up-and-coming artistes.
The programme therefore, targets persons involved in the industry at all levels, including event planners in the entertainment and corporate industry. Sessions will be administered by leading professionals in the entertainment sector.
State Minister for Industry and Tourism, Dr.Wykeham McNeill, speaking at the launch yesterday (February 24), at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, said the music industry complemented Tourism and could be held responsible for the sector’s success.
He said the launch of the series reflected the “Government’s deep conviction that Jamaicans can and must harness their creative energies, skills and propensity for hard work to earn their way to economic prosperity”.
The State Minister pointed out that training and a grasp of business principles as well as strategic partnerships were essential prerequisites for success in business.
“This programme is a great opportunity for those involved in the entertainment industry to acquire skills and to learn more about issues that are of critical importance in the development of their business,” he said.
Dr. McNeill urged that focus be placed on market niches in which Jamaica could not just survive, but build and grow, gaining stronger local and international customer base and forging new linkages.
Addressing concerns about the high level of piracy, which continues to plague the industry, the State Minister said legislation such as the Copyright Act had signalled Jamaica’s own resistance to such habits. He said Jamaicans should be leaders by example and refrain from using pirated material or doing so themselves. “The truth of the matter is, we have to pay people for their cultural output,” he emphasized.
Chairman of HEART/NTA, Alister Cooke noted that the initiative was a timely one, capable of creating new pathways for the entertainment industry and further projecting Jamaica’s culture.
Chief Executive Officer of CME, Lloyd Stanbury said the series of workshops were timely, adding that despite the success of many Jamaican artistes and the unprecedented success being enjoyed at present, not much has been done to properly develop the industry.
He encouraged artistes, producers, managers, promoters and interested persons to attend the series.The workshops will be delivered on weekends, alternating between Kingston and Montego Bay, and will attract a $1,500 fee per session.
The first one entitled ‘Record Production Management’ will take place on Friday and Saturday (March 12 and 13) at the Knutsford Court Hotel between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
On March 20 and 21 there will be a workshop at the Wexford Court Hotel in Montego Bay.
The VTDI also offers diploma courses in Entertainment and Events Management, in collaboration with the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

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