Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Belgrade Theatre’s new apprentice scheme opens new avenues into the theatre industry

Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre is on the lookout for the next generation of theatre professionals via its new creative apprenticeship scheme, which will enable four people to gain experience in roles ranging from the wardrobe department to the lighting department.

Offered in conjunction with Stratford Upon Avon College, the new 11 month apprenticeship posts are available in the areas of Theatre Operations, Wardrobe, Lighting and Community Arts. At the end of the course the apprentices will have gained a wealth of knowledge about working in a theatre and a level two Creative Apprenticeship from Stratford Upon Avon College.

Robert Cooke (pictured right), who is nearing the end of his Theatre Operations apprenticeship at the Belgrade said the scheme has provided him with knowledge and skills that he may not have gained elsewhere: “Working alongside trained theatre professionals has provided me with first hand knowledge of how a theatre operates and its valuable role in the community. Amongst other things the role has also enabled me to develop my IT skills, learn about data protection and all aspects of health and safety.

"As part of the apprenticeship I have also been studying for an N.V.Q in cultural heritage venue operations and cultural practice and I have attended a fire marshal course. I would really like to continue working in theatre operations and eventually take on more responsibility and influence in an events management role, such as project manager.”

Janthi Mills, General Manager at the Belgrade added: “By offering apprenticeships we are hoping to attract new people into the industry who may not have thought about a career in the arts, or were uncertain how to enter the profession. Rob has been a real asset to the theatre offering a fresh perspective and outlook to the role. Apprenticeships not only help us to build an appropriate and fit for purpose workforce for the future but they are also an integral part of the Belgrade’s dynamic team.”

Apprenticeships are part of a national government accredited scheme offering vocational training as an alternative route into the creative industries. They are based on ability and potential rather than qualifications, social background or who you know thus aiming to break the vicious circle of ‘no experience equals no job’.

As employees, apprentices earn an apprenticeship wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills. Off the job, usually on a day-release basis, apprentices receive training to work towards nationally recognised qualifications.

For more information or to download any of the apprenticeship job packs please visit the downloads section of the Belgrade’s website at http://www.belgrade.co.uk/.  The closing date for applications is Monday 4 July.

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