Belgrade Theatre to Celebrate National Apprenticeship Week

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Belgrade Theatre to Celebrate National Apprenticeship Week

Coventry's Belgrade Theatre has been celebrating their award-winning creative apprenticeship scheme by collating a blog to hear the experiences of the current apprentices and to encourage future applications.

The Belgrade was awarded the Creative Apprentice Employer of the Year Award by the National Skills Academy in 2012 in recognition of its thriving creative apprenticeship scheme.

Offered in conjunction with Stratford-upon-Avon College, Warwickshire College and Heart of England Training, the Belgrade's Creative Apprenticeship Scheme was launched just a year earlier as a response to increasing numbers of applications for work placements.

The scheme has continued to go from strength to strength, employing apprentices in departments across the theatre including marketing, customer services, sound, theatre operations, wardrobe, lighting and community arts. These apprentices now make up 15% of the Belgrade's workforce and the theatre recruits for these roles on an annual basis.

Claire Simpson, General Manger of the Belgrade's Community & Education department added, "Apprenticeships are incredibly important within the creative sector. It can be a notoriously hard profession to break into but it really is one that is best learnt on the job. The value of the young people participating in the scheme are of benefit for both the apprentice and theatre as a mix of voices and experiences ensure that apprentices are cherished as key members of the theatre's team. We are very proud that our award-winning scheme opens up opportunities to working in the arts and that it has proved to be so successful."

The 12 month posts provide paid, hands-on experience in various areas throughout the theatre and acquire a Level 2 BTec vocational qualification. In addition to working in their own specialist department, apprentices also meet regularly as a group to peer mentor each other and give an insight into the range of roles available within the industry. From September 2014, young people will be required to remain in education or training so these apprenticeships will take on added importance and provide an excellent opportunity to fulfil that criteria whilst gaining on-the-job experiences and a formal qualification.

To read more about these roles, take a look at the theatre's website www.belgrade.co.uk and click the News & Blogs menu.

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