On Thursday, along with Shane Jones I visited MainReactor. (That’s not Shane in the middle of the photo by the way ) This is a great Kiwi firm based in Henderson that makes props and prosthetics for the film and television industry. If you are watching Spartacus you are watching their work, and numerous movies as well. They have employed dozens of people over the last few years, drawing together those with artistic skill into what is also a complex engineering environment. Roger Murray the founder of the company (pictured on the right above) has ideas for expansion, and is on a roll which sees studios seeking out the integrated skills present in his team.
A major point of our discussion was around the training needs to keep this industry going. Roger and his firm have invested a great deal in training of people in what is a highly specialised area. The nature of the film and tv business is that there will be down times, and it can be hard to keep the infrastructure of a skilled workforce in place.
Labour released its Arts, Culture and Heritage policy last week, and a core part of it is the creation of Creative Industries Apprenticeships, that will support people into the industry to give us the workforce that can keep our creative industries going. Roger and his team were excited to hear about the idea, and so are others in the creative sector. Its one thing we can do to draw together the brilliant creative talent we have with the kind of economic growth that is the future of New Zealand. Good policy that will make a difference.