“You will have a better chance of success and enjoying what you do with access to training, opportunities and practicing industry professionals right for you. Sprinkle on top some passion, enthusiasm, hard work, a willingness to learn and above all, responsibility for oneself and just see what you can achieve”. Dan Howson, sevens7 & Stepladder Worldwide
Dan is the Business Development Director of sevens7, which he founded in 2005. In 2008 he created the youth development initiative Stepladder Worldwide and, in 2012 became an Ambassador for The National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural Skills.
Getting there was slow, haphazard and unstructured and the reason; no formal information or support from education or the industry on opportunities, training and jobs in an industry he was passionate about.
However, progress is now being made through initiatives like Stepladder Worldwide and The National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural Skills and its members.
Dan’s Story and the reason Stepladder Worldwide exists
In the early 90’s Dan’s asked a school careers advisor how he could get into music, TV, film or theatre. Unfortunately the careers advisor had no idea, and neither did anyone else it seemed. After leaving school it took him almost 5 years to get the right information and a job in an industry he desperate to break into…far too long he thought. Fast-forward to 2008 and after working with education and interviewing new candidates Dan could not see that not much had changed and there was a real lack of industry knowledge from the new young people coming through, more needed to be done by education but also the industry however small.
What we need to avoid
Dan’s route was not straight forward and at that time probably not uncommon. He started working in pubs then painted props on cruise ships, he was a sound and light tech on the fringe and a set painter in a potters bar theatre, he suffered a humiliating audition at Jim Henson’s Workshop and countless CV rejections. Off his own back he did manage some vocational further education in Theatre Design and Technology, planned the odd party and ran his own club nights before getting that lucky break. Unfortunately this was all done without any access to industry information, relevant training or knowledgeable professionals willing to provide guidance. Having had this would have made his journey shorter, more structured, formal and undoubtedly more inspiring.
What we need more of
Stepladder Worldwide is an initiative fostered by sevens7 who are passionate about employing the very best new talent but also helping others find a route to the path they crave. Stepladder accelerates skills and knowledge and supports young people from any background looking for access to the live events industry it’s that simple yet it’s impossible for Stepladder to help everyone.
This is where The National Skills Academy and its members come in.
The National Skills academy is a growing network of employers and training providers who are committed to the provision of high quality, industry-relevant creative education and training, apprenticeships and careers advice….brilliant!!
The NSA is bringing together the very best in industry and training across a variety of creative sectors. Together and as a network we support fellow creative organisations, businesses and young people with access to the right skills, training and employment information.
The rest they say is history
Dan now has over 15 years’ experience in the live events industry specialising in live services and operations, corporate communications, brand entertainment, music festivals and award ceremonies. sevens7 has produced over 500 shows across the globe and in 2012 completed a GB hat-trick producing St George’s Day in Trafalgar Square and contributing to The Queens Jubilee in Hyde Park and the London 2012 Olympics. He has produced shows with international artists including Paul McCartney, Snow Patrol and Queens of the Stone Age, worked at the world’s best festivals including Glastonbury, Reading, T in the Park and Bestival, produced the Muzik Magazine and MNE Awards and delivered shows for some of the globe’s biggest brands including MTV, Adidas, British Aerospace and Manchester United.