Youths develop talent

MATT Koos, 15, of Heathcote, knows what career path he wants to follow when he leaves school, thanks to a program helping young people gain industry skills and experience in events.The year 10 student from St John Bosco College at Engadine has spent his free time volunteering at Sutherland Shire Council events to gain experience in stage lighting and design for the past year.As part of Music NSW’s youth campaign Indent, the skills enhancement program provides people aged 13 to 25 with the opportunity to gain skills and experience in the events industry including booking venues, liaising with police, managing security, advertising and promotion.The main purpose of the government-funded program is to provide young people with recognition and accreditation through TAFE NSW for doing things they love to do while still at school.

So far, Matt has helped organise Sutherland Shire Council events including Battle of the Bands, Down the Park and has done lighting for end-of-year dance concerts.

This year he will be the production co-ordinator for Battle of the Bands and will work on stage lighting and design.

“The program has helped give me some great skills to take out into the workforce,” Matt said.

“I have been doing a lot of technical training at Sutherland Entertainment Centre.”

Six members from the Shire Events Crew were selected to take part in the skills enhancement program last year.

Sutherland Shire Council youth events and project officer, Petrhyce Leather, supervises the program.

“I try to gauge their interests when they sign up so they continue to learn and really gain something from their experiences,” Miss Leather said.

“Everyone has a different interest including event management, lighting, production, sound and general event production.”

Miss Leather said the program was tailored to individual experience and participants could receive accreditation from events of all sizes including friends’ birthday parties.

The participants will work on the Battle of the Bands competition in September.