The Mackintosh Foundation has announced a new scheme aimed at developing technical skills in the UK theatre industry.
The Regional Theatre Technical Apprenticeship Programme in association with thirteen venues across the United Kingdom, will offer young people a stepping-stone into the theatre industry and support the next generation of technical theatre professionals.
The Regional Theatre Technical Apprenticeship Programme aims to address an industry-wide shortage of theatre technicians and theatre-making practitioners. The Mackintosh Foundation is supporting thirteen regional theatres by funding an apprenticeship at each venue, offering young people exceptional training and mentoring opportunities, launching them into a robust and rewarding career in theatre. Anyone who wishes to be considered for a position can apply via their relevant venue’s website.
Cameron Mackintosh said, “I started my career sweeping the stage of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and have worked in nearly every department in the Theatre from backstage to marketing – except the wardrobe, as my sewing wasn’t good enough! Learning how all the elements of a show are put together has been key to my long career as a producer.”
The programme is directly aimed at those young people who would benefit from a stepping-stone into the industry. Applicants will be over the age of 18 and will ideally have some basic theatrical awareness and computer skills. Efforts will be made to reach the widest possible pool of candidates, particularly reaching out to marginalized groups and those with protected characteristics, and who are based locally to their theatres. The aim is to make this opportunity as accessible as possible. Apprentices will be employed full-time, inclusive of attending college or training one day per week.
The thirteen venues taking part in this initial cohort of the Regional Theatre Technical Apprenticeship Programme, and the roles their apprentices are joining as are Birmingham Hippodrome with a Creative Venue Apprentice, Bristol Old Vic Theatre with a Workshop Theatre Trainee Chichester Festival Theatre with a Production Management Apprentice, Curve Leicester with a Creative Venue Apprentice, Edinburgh Lyceum Theatre with a Creative Venue (Lighting) Apprentice, Leeds Playhouse Costume Making Trainee, Lyric Theatre Belfast Production Management Apprentice, Northern Stage with a Creative Venue (Video and Sound Apprentice), Nottingham Playhouse with a Creative Venue Apprentice, Royal Shakespeare Company with a Wigs, Hair and Makeup Trainee, Sheffield Theatres with a Creative Venue Apprentice, Theatre Clwyd with a Costume Making Trainee and Theatre Royal Plymouth with a Production Management Apprentice.
Apprentices will begin their placements in Autumn of 2023, for a period of either 18-months or 2-years, depending on the discipline. Alongside funding the apprentice’s salary and contributing toward travel expenses, The Mackintosh Foundation is funding in-person meetings of the full cohort during the programme, as well as hosting regular online calls for the apprentices to link up with industry professionals to expose them to the industry at large.