The UK’s largest theatre owner and operator, the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), will pilot a groundbreaking technical apprenticeship programme in its theatres for the first time this year.
Supported by the Creative Employment Programme with Arts Council England Lottery funding, the programme will begin with four apprenticeships employed from September 2013 to August 2014. Each Apprentice Theatre Technician will be based at one of ATG’s renowned regional receiving houses: the New Victoria Theatre in Woking, Richmond Theatre, the New Wimbledon Theatre, and the Churchill Theatre in Bromley.
John Young, Head of Technical Services for ATG, said: 'Technical apprenticeships mark an important change in our recruitment process. We need to address a growing skills gap in the technical sector of our industry, with new recruits possessing the right skills. There can be no better way of developing dedicated technical staff at entry level than by creating a learning culture - passing on the essential skills we require as an employer.'
The programme has been developed in partnership with North Hertfordshire College, White Light Ltd and the Association of British Theatre Technicians, and apprentices will benefit from training and work experience with the partner organisations as well as with ATG, reflecting industry practice in the comprehensive partnership working that already exists in this field.
Apprentices will have access to world class opportunities, using the most up to date equipment and techniques not available in colleges or universities. Throughout the year, they will gain the EDI Level 2 Certificate in Technical Theatre Support, and the assessment criteria for this qualification will form the backbone of practical assessment to be woven throughout the full programme.
Nick Potter, Managing Director (Venues) for ATG, said: 'We are delighted to be leading the industry in bringing back apprenticeships to the heart of the theatre business. This will provide great opportunities for future employees to benefit from practical, live learning, and gaining knowledge from our experienced technical team.'