An interesting side-note to this month’s cover story focusing on professional training services were comments made by the founder of EMDI Institute, Nowshir Engineer, regarding the apparent reluctance of some graduates entering the live events production field to consider starting positions offering salaries of less than around AED15,000 (US$4000) tax-free per month.
“Placement is something we look at if required, when required,” he said.
“The problem that we are finding at the moment is not that there aren’t any jobs; it’s that wages have come down to a level that many graduates aren’t interested in working for.”
Nowshir’s insight into the situation is enlightening, particularly given the economically challenging times we find ourselves in.
For anyone unfamiliar with the dynamics of this region, it may seem a bizarre concept that a graduate would snub a starting salary of four grand per month tax-free, regardless of their chosen profession.
The fact we’re discussing the live events production industry, where roadies and some engineers would be lucky to earn that sort of figure for a 24-day touring month, is laughable.
Still, it could be seen as an unfortunate consequence of the privileged position many of these graduates have found themselves in.
While training academies such as those featured in this month’s cover story should be applauded for their commitment to cultivating professional standards in this region, one has to question whether ‘the message’ is being relayed to graduates who have unreasonable financial expectations of an industry which, by international standards, is still in its relative infancy.
Perhaps a reality check is what’s really required by those looking for an easy path to the top and a killer salary to boot.
On a completely different note, 2010 is shaping up as a bumper year for the industry and your favourite publication, Sound & Stage.
Planning for this year’s instalment of the Sound & Stage Awards is in full swing, with various new categories currently being considered for inclusion.
Full details of this year’s awards programme and nomination processes will be posted on DigitalProductionME.com in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for them.
Despite 2009 proving a challenging year for many, it was a landmark period for the GCC events industry, so competition is set to be fierce. Be sure to get your nominations in!