Employment partnership heralds new era for AV sector

    New strategies must be adopted to address skills shortfall across the Middle East.

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    This month's announcement of an industry employment partnership agreement between audio engineering training organisation SAE Institute and Jordanian broadcaster Seagulls Group is a positive development that will hopefully lead to similar initiatives being implemented across the region.

    The deal, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East, will see SAE Jordan's top audio engineering graduates gain full-time employment with the Seagulls Group, which operates three of the country's leading radio stations: Beat FM (102.5), Mood FM (92.0) and Mazaj FM (95.3).

    The company has also committed to employing top SAE graduates in its broadcast and AV technical support departments.

    Providing further incentive for aspiring students, Seagulls has committed to reimbursing graduate employees with the cost of their tuition fees following completion of 24 months of full employment with the organisation.

    While this level of interaction between training academies and employers is a relatively common phenomenon in international markets, the Middle East broadcast and live entertainment industries have largely failed to embrace the obvious commercial opportunities such agreements foster.

    Given the well-documented shortfall in professionally trained staff available in these sectors, the adoption of similar initiatives across the region - and particularly in the booming markets of the GCC - would go a long way to ensuring the industry's long-term prosperity.

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