School pupils, teachers, Sacha Lord and Parklife team in front of Parklife sign at the festival
Work and Skills

Young people get behind-the-scenes at Parklife on ‘Workplace Safari’

Young people from schools across Greater Manchester were given a chance to get behind-the-scenes of Parklife on a ‘Workplace Safari’ tour, giving them a chance to understand what goes into putting on the largest metropolitan festival in the UK.

On Thursday (8th June) more than 98 students experienced Parklife without the crowds. They heard first-hand from a range of staff members working in the festival industry, from sound and lighting engineers, to catering workers and set design staff. They were also invited to ask questions to find out about what qualifications are needed to enter the industry. 

The Workplace Safari tour was organised jointly by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Parklife co-creator, Sacha Lord, who is also the city-region’s Night Time Economy Adviser. 

A young person who took part in the Workplace Safari said:

“It has been very educational and eye-opening. We have learned about all the jobs opportunities available in the hospitality industry. We have really enjoyed it.”

This event follows the recent announcement of new ambitious plans for the city-region to create two equal pathways for young people when they make their GCSE choices – one academic and one focussed on technical careers. As part of this Mayor Andy Burnham proposed the idea of a Greater Manchester Baccalaureate (MBacc) for technical education, which would sit alongside the existing English Baccalaureate (EBacc) for those wanting to pursue a university education. Initiatives such as the MBacc and Workplace Safaris are designed to maximise the ability of young people in the city-region to get a good job or higher technical learning in the growing success story of the Greater Manchester economy.

Workplace Safaris like this are a chance for businesses to open their doors to young people, helping to build their wider understand of the world of work, as well as upskilling teachers and educational professionals by showcasing the amazing breadth of careers across Greater Manchester. Workplace Safaris are an initiative of the Meet Your Future project, a partnership between the Youth Employment and Opportunities team at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and The Careers & Enterprise Company.

Meet Your Future has been bridging the gap between school and the workplace since 2019, helping connect young people in Greater Manchester to the different opportunities out there. It has already enabled 132 employers to offer online and in person opportunities to young people across Greater Manchester, with over 120,000 young people attending the events.

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, Greater Manchester’s lead for Technical Education,Skills & Work said: 

“Hospitality and leisure are important sectors for the city-region and Greater Manchester is full of brilliant venues and operators, such as Parklife. But many people are not fully aware of the amount of career opportunities these industries create and the skills you need to get there.

“It is vital we pass on these skills and opportunities to future generations through events like Workplace Safaris, and make sure that Greater Manchester residents benefit from the huge opportunities that our city region offers.

“Workplace Safaris give young people the opportunity to meet role models in different business settings and can help future generations imagine their future careers.

“It is fantastic that Sacha was able to showcase the range of careers available in this sector and I encourage any employers to consider hosting events like a Workplace Safari to help inspire and grow Greater Manchester’s workforce.”

Joanne Roney OBE, Greater Manchester's Chief Executive lead for Technical Education, Skills & Work, Chief Executive at Manchester City Council, said:

This is a great example of how our work with businesses to put young people at the heart of future economic success can showcase exciting opportunities, and help sectors with skills shortages to encourage future talent across GM.

“Thanks to Sacha and Parklife.”

Sacha Lord, Co-creator of Parklife and Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Adviser, said: 

“Before Parklife started, we gave young people from across Greater Manchester behind-the-scenes access and showcased all the different job roles available in this area of hospitality and leisure.  

“This Workplace Safari was an opportunity to show young people all the hard work that happens to make this festival happen.

“We hope it has provided an exciting and inspiring overview of what a career in events can look like and that Parklife could be part of a career opportunity for them in the future.“

For businesses interested in hosting their own Workplace Safari please email

or visit

If you would like to watch some of the behind-the-scenes Workplace Safari tour, take a look at the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship & Careers Service (GMCAS) social media channels where videos of the event were posted.

Article Published: 12/06/2023 16:06 PM