THE Royal Opera House is now recruiting for new apprentices to join the production team in Thurrock in September 2016. Positions will be available in Scenic Art, Scenic Carpentry and Costume.
The Royal Opera House apprenticeship scheme is a two-year programme and has been running since 2010 in Thurrock and 2007 in Covent Garden. There are currently 17 apprentices employed across 12 different areas, seven of those are in Thurrock. The Costume Department position will be the first apprenticeship to take place in the new Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre at the High House Production Park in Purfleet.
Thurrock’s first apprentice Shaun Bajnoczky has gone on to work at Southbank Centre, on the concerts team and learning team for BBC Proms, Spitalfields Music and Nimble Arts. Jamie Ashwell who was the Learning & Participation apprentice from 2011-2013 has worked as the Company Manager for pantomime, as a freelance theatre technician at various venues, the Co-ordinator for the Technical Youth Company at the Backstage Centre in Purfleet and stills does freelance work for Royal Opera House Learning & Participation in Thurrock on events such as Big Screen.
One of Thurrock’s most recent graduate apprentices, Sam Harding is now a full-time Learning and Participation Projects Assistant at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. He said: ‘The apprenticeship at the Royal Opera House in Thurrock gave me so much more than a university course would have done. I got to spend two years learning and working alongside industry professionals and was made to feel like part of the team. You don’t spend two years doing filing and making cups of tea; you get trusted with the responsibility of running your own events which helps you to grow by allowing you to make your own decisions and have so much more autonomy than you think you would get as an apprentice.’
Danny Pheloung who was an apprentice last year and now has a freelance contract with the Royal Opera House at the Production Workshop is equally enthusiastic: ‘Having being given the opportunity to do a Scenic Art apprenticeship, I can safely say that it has changed my life completely. It has given me valuable skills in a career that I love.’
Lucy Kevill, a second year Scenic Carpentry apprentice who graduates this year says: ‘The apprenticeship has been a real journey, I have spent the last year and a half working within a state of the art facility, producing some of the highest standard of scenery in the world. Learning within industry for me is the only way to go. I can’t recommend it highly enough.’
The closing date for applications is 8am on Monday 13 June. Applicants must be 18 years old or over. For more information and details of how to apply, please go to www.roh.org.uk/apprenticeships