MP Stephen Metcalfe visits apprentices at Royal Opera House in Purfleet

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STEPHEN Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, visited the Royal Opera House at the High House Production Park in Purfleet on Friday 9 March to meet apprentices working in the ROH Production Workshop and Costume Centre.


Mr Metcalfe is the Government Envoy for the Year of Engineering and an Apprenticeship Ambassador. Throughout National Apprenticeship Week, Stephen has been promoting apprenticeships and talking to young people about taking them up.

Also, 2018 is the Year of Engineering and Stephen is promoting it by visiting engineering companies and encouraging people from all walks of life, particularly women, to consider a career in engineering.

Stephen met Sophie Scott, a 2nd year Costume Centre Apprentice, Harvey Thompson in his first year of a Learning and Participation Apprenticeship, Flynn Clark and Tom Forrest, both Scenic Carpentry Apprentices; Flynn in his 2nd and Tom Forrest in his first year, and 3rd year Scenic Metalwork Apprentice Les Hamilton. Les’ apprenticeship has an engineering qualification at its heart.

There are currently six ROH apprentices in Thurrock and 12 across the whole organization. In May 2018, eight new apprenticeships, two of which will be based in Thurrock, will become available.

Of his visit and the quality of the training on offer in Thurrock through the Royal Opera House, Mr Metcalfe said: “I was very impressed by the quality and diversity of the apprenticeships on offer and the confidence and knowledge of the apprentices I met.”

“I wish them all well in their future careers and would hold them up as shining examples of why Apprenticeships work”.

The Royal Opera House has a well-established apprenticeship programme with opportunities across the organisation in both Thurrock and In Covent Garden.

Bendy Ashfield, ROH Apprenticeship Manager said: “It was great to have Stephen visit on the final day of National Apprenticeship Week. We will be offering two engineering apprenticeships next season, one based in Covent Garden and one based in Thurrock. Our previous Covent Garden based engineering apprentice was a woman and we would love to encourage eligible women from all backgrounds to apply when the opportunities are advertised, in May. We also offer a wide range of work experience in these areas.

To find out more about the opportunities available at the Royal Opera House for apprenticeships or work experience, please go to

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