Image source: ECBNetwork

How to design a training program for creative and cultural industries and make it fit to their needs

We usually present training program looking at what they can do for final beneficiaries but we have never heard the voice of those who are thinking, designing, producing and testing the training program. So here we are with Gabriella Antezza, Training Manager and trainer/coach, expert in training needs analysis and training contents design, assessment and delivery at Materahub and partnership coordinator for the development of CreatEU training program.

So Gabriella, first of all a little about you

Since 2014, I have gained knowledge, expertise and experience within Entrepreneurial Education for CCIs professionals in Materahub, where I actually enriched my career as educator, facilitator and training courses designer for artists and creatives to support them in developing entrepreneurial competences and internationalise their business.

Among my initial experiences, I had the great opportunity to contribute to the implementation of the Creative Project Canvas, Materahub entrepreneurial reflection tool tailor-made for artists and creatives.

And what has come afterwards has been (and still is!) an engaging learning, teaching, facilitating and sharing pathway to study, customise, experiment, deliver and improve effective tools, strategies and method to support CCIs professionals in their entrepreneurial and human growth.

What is the starting point when designing a training program? Where do you look for inspiration and find innovation compared to what has already being produced?

Surely, the very first starting point is the needs analysis as well as the actual learning and professional goals of learners within the current economic context and the specific EU project objectives, economic, professional or educational sectors identified.

My main inspiration as sources of innovation comes from up-to-date case studies, good practices, tools and methods available online and/or OERs, academic articles as well as though current and past experiences shared within other EU projects partnerships and colleagues. All supported by high motivation, curiosity and commitment of course!

Do you think COVID pandemic changed the training needs of the CCIs? And what about the delivery methods?

Surely, the COVID pandemic has affected (surprisingly in a proactive way too) the training needs of the CCIs professionals and anyone potentially interested and/or involved within these sectors, since a significant part of CCIs businesses rely on face-to-face interaction (let’s just think about dance, theatre, music and so on).

I can witness that CCIs professionals have quickly realised that they do need to develop and/or improve their digital skills, their knowledge of entrepreneurial tools and strategies to enter the contemporary “virtual” job markets and to shape their business according to their audience’s needs and their new way to join and enjoy cultural and creative events, products and services. 

From my point of view as a trainer, coach and training courses designer, a lot has changed since the pandemic started. I have gained significant knowledge about digital tools and methods available to deliver training and mentoring contents, activities and strategies. Above all, I have learnt that it is crucial to learn about strategies and methods on how to make any training contents suitable to your learners’ needs and professional contexts and impactful for their businesses growth, for instance by looking for authentic testimonials who can really inspire, motivate and stimulate to grow and be resilient by simply telling their successful stories.

We know you work a lot by tailoring programs on entrepreneurship education starting from EntreComp framework, which of the competences in the framework you think work best for CCIs professionals? Which one they already have? Which one are the more present in CreatEU training program?

Well, although all competences imply crucial skills that are key to CCIs professionals’ success, among the top ones I would include planning and management and coping with uncertainty and risk, vision, mobilising resources and financial and economic literacy. These competences work best for CCIs professionals because they can boost a more effective entrepreneurial approach to their businesses, since, although they already have skills related to creativity for instance, they do need to learn more about many other “sub-skills” such as design and critical thinking, problem solving and taking the initiative for instance.

Just for this reason, the key competences developed in the CreatEU training programme are strictly related to the ability to build a clear business vision and mission in order to plan and manage their business activities efficiently. By developing their teamwork and networking skills, they improve their abilities to spot opportunities, take the initiative and mobilise the right tangible and intangible resources and therefore, their abilities to create value for themselves and others. These key competences presented in the CreatEU training programme can actually support CCIs professionals in making their businesses sustainable and profitable in the short and long term.

Tell us more about the training of CreatEU. Why shall the CCIs professionals get involved?

The CreatEU training modules are very much practical and dynamic, based on a “ready-to-use” knowledge, strategies, methods and resources focusing on the EntreComp competences needed to build their business Vision, Value ideas, Spot opportunities, improve their Creativity skills in order to act upon ideas and opportunities and transform them into action. To do this, CCIs professionals need to improve their skills in Planning & Management, Learning through experience and Taking the initiative as well as their Motivation and perseverance, their abilities to Mobilise resources, Work with others & Network. A rather innovative approach of the CreatEU training package is also represented by the inclusion of Digital and New Technologies strategies and tools as Transversal competences supporting the development and improvement for each of the above-mentioned skills within current CCIs sectors.

Finally, the CreatEU training programme includes not only specific learning modules to develop effective entrepreneurial competences but also international workshops and pilots for CCIs professionals, artists and cultural operators where they will be able to test, learn and give their authentic feedback on the training contents.

CCIs professionals shall get involved because while they learn how and through which competences, tools and strategies they can make their business sustainable and profitable, they have the opportunity to network, exchange and share experiences, knowledge and views with international colleagues.

 Thanks a lot