With the furlough scheme set to end on 31 October, the latest episode of the Mersey Waves podcast finds out what this really means for workers and their employers who have real concerns about covering costs when, at the moment, it’s anything but business as usual.
We hear from three people who have taken advantage of the initiative to find out about their experience and what the future looks like for them.
Gemma McGowan – a well-known figure in the hospitality industry and responsible for the Isla Gladstone Conservatory in Stanley Park- talks openly about how she is worried about her business and in particular the team she works closely with. With no indication when events can resume, she has real fears about the future: “Each day I look at the news and think there’s going to be something today and there isn’t so I am starting to panic a little bit now.”
Millicent Jones who is the Executive Director-Audiences and Development at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and cellist Gethyn Jones who is part of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra also discuss how their organisation transformed as a result of the health pandemic. Millicent said: “Our doors were shut very quickly in lockdown and the 400 events we do each year we came to a halt which is a first in our history – even during the war we kept on performing.”
With some concerts planned in October, Gethyn reflects on how he feels lucky to have benefitted from the furlough scheme but is uncertain what will happen after October. He remains positive but apprehensive about future performances. “It’s going to be very weird only having 20 musicians on the stage doing a distanced concert rather than 70.”