How to find technical theatre apprenticeships
My answer to this question is an unusual one, but no less relevant. Having left school I decided main stream education was not the place for me and that I wanted to do an apprenticeship in technical theatre. For a hands on kinesthetic learner the class room was never the right environment for me to develop. Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to learn hands on, work in the real world, making industry contacts, and get paid.
I applied for a apprenticeship through http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk A government run database of apprenticeships that matches learners to employers. It works in two ways, as a learner you can create a profile, search for a job, and use your profile to apply. As a employer you can list a vacancy and receive applications, or search through the candidates using search criteria- much in the same way that a employment agency might search through a talent pool. I know both these processes very well as I have applied for vacancies and listed them. I can vouch for it being a very good way to find apprenticeships and apprentices.
On a slight side note I think apprenticeships are now viewed with a very gray light and seen as second rate to collage. I’m not sure where this comes from but as an industry I think we can do a lot to change this stigma by employing apprentices. What better way to ensure the quality and training of your employees then by doing it yourself- think of it as home growing vegetables, you know what you’re going to get! (Not to mention the funding available for this)
Back to my unusual answer: I applied for a apprenticeship, went to an interview, and was turned down because the employer considered me to be “too knowledgeable”.
Rather then taking this as a setback I found the name of the learning provider who ran the apprenticeship. Apprenticeships consist of 3 parties, the learner, the employer, and the learning provider. Think of the learning provider as the collage who provides the framework for the qualification.
I contacted the learning provider and found out what it would take to arrange my own apprenticeship. Once I had done this (a few meetings later) all I had to do was convince a local production company to hire me and sign some paper work!
One year later I had a level 3 national diploma, buckets of industry experience, lots of industry accredited training, and a full time job. The moral of the story is to be persistent, grab hold of every opportunity, and don’t let the setbacks get you down.