THIS autumn, the Thameside Theatre, Civic Halls and the Royal Opera House Production Workshop in Purfleet will be joining 30 other venues across England in opening their doors to almost 3,000 13-16 year-olds – as part of the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural’s ‘Offstage Choices’ programme.
Now in its third year, this ‘offstage’ careers project offers young people a taste of the wide range of jobs available behind the scenes in technical theatre and live music. Currently, there is a predicted need for 30,000 skilled backstage workers by 2017, so the choices these young people make may lead them to careers that are not simply enjoyable, but also stable and long-term.
Head of Programmes, National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural Rob West said: ‘This nationwide series of events will enable young people to discover career routes, try some of the jobs and meet industry professionals.
“By linking these venues and potential employers with our Founder Further Education Colleges young people will also find out about training and support to get into jobs and careers in their area.’
While they are at local venues, the young people will meet and experience the work of a number of professionals including lighting and sound technicians, stage managers, and those working in marketing and front-of-house. All these people will share top tips and offer the young people the chance to experience working outside the spotlight.
As an Industry Members of The National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural, the venues are part of a network of industry specialists in theatre, opera, live music events, festivals, further education colleges and training providers working together to develop and improve skills within the industry.