Latham To Head Skills Academy

Live Nation U.K. president Paul Latham says his new role as chairman of the creative and cultural section of the new National Skills Academy is like an extension of his day job.

"LN has over 3,500 staff in the U.K. and I have always tried to ensure they have the best knowledge and facilities to enable them to go about their roles. It is a natural extension of that which led me to accept this role," he told Pollstar.

Latham will be supported by Ric Green, technical director of Opera North, who was named deputy chair.

The NSA is a network of employer-led, world-class centres of excellence delivering the skills required by each sector of the economy.

Latham’s task as head of Creative & Cultural Skills is to oversee the delivery of employer-led training in a wide range of areas including backstage skills for live music and the performing arts.

Live Nation’s U.K. operations involve concert promotion and running venues in both the live music and theatrical businesses. Latham, who has been on the board of Academy Music Group since LN-Gaiety bought a major share in the company a year ago, believes he can help to unite both of those facets to support the NSA.

"The National Skills Academy is an obvious focus for all employers looking to recruit competent staff who will be trained to nationally recognised qualifications," Latham explained.

"By uniting employers with existing course providers the National Skills Council believes the U.K. can lead the world in supplying key personnel in to our industry."

The NSA’s main aim, according to Peter Hain – who was secretary of state for work and pensions at the time it was set up – is to ensure the U.K. can "compete in a global economy by equipping everyone, especially the lowest skilled and unemployed, with the skills they need to get a job and progress in work."

In April, Latham and Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn were on a list of "backroom boys and girls" who could be in line for Brit Awards, according to The Times.

They were the only two live music business people on a list of 20 likely candidates the paper drew up in response to the Music Producers Guild pushing the Brits committee to follow the Oscars and Grammys and expand its awards to encompass all the non-performing sections of the industry.