The power of upskilling

Collaborative Creations’ new Training and Education Director, Chris West, on the power of upskilling your workforce.

There has been a lot of talk around the live events industry about the staff and crew shortage, which has become a problem in our post-pandemic world. One thing I have not heard very many people talking about, however, is a potential solution to that problem: upskilling.

Skill gaps in a workplace do not always have to be filled by bringing in someone new. Sometimes the most efficient way to get the team up to speed is to put existing staff members on training courses where they can learn something new, or feel more comfortable in their existing role.

The pandemic has forced a lot of skilled people out of the industry, and in some cases those below them have been forced to take on roles they may not be ready for. In theatre, I have seen Assistant Stage Managers suddenly becoming Deputy Stage Managers, and not being quite sure what skills and responsibilities are needed in the new position.

I have worked in training for the past 22 years, so I have seen first hand what a powerful tool it can be. Training courses are a fantastic way to demystify difficult subjects and empower the workforce.

My career started out working for Avolites, having collected my degree in Stage Management from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Over those 22 years I worked for Martin, White Light, MA Lighting and disguise, teaching people how to maximise their equipment and put on some really fantastic shows.

My new role at Collaborative Creations is Training and Education Director, and I’m very excited to be bringing my experience to bear on a new project. At CC, I’ll be working with manufacturers to create and deliver training courses, both in-person and through e-learning delivery. Calling on my years of designing and delivering training for some of the biggest players in the industry, I will be able to help make manufacturer training the best it can be.

Alongside this work, CC will also be offering its own range of unique training courses, all tailored to the industry. These courses will cover everything from lighting, sound and video to electronics, systems networking and integration training. We will also cover more general skills like first aid, mental health first aid and customer service, to make us a one stop shop for all your training needs. In addition to this, we will also be offering courses in social media and PR from our vast talent pool at CC.

I’m really looking forward to developing and delivering a range of training courses that aren’t solely based on one product, and using my passion for training to help others achieve their goals. If you are looking to develop training courses to bring your staff to the next level, or if there is a knowledge gap in your team that needs to be filled - get in touch! You can reach me at