BALLET Dancers, a String Quartet, pyrotechnics and a 21st Century light show set the scene and entertained over a hundred guests at the National College Creative Industries Graduation event last week (Thursday 4 October).
Those graduating in the 2017/18 class received their certificates while 10 awards were presented to students who had gone above and beyond and to employers who made the courses possible.
Dame Rosemary Squire DBE, the informally dubbed ‘Queen of Theatre’ came along to the event and gave a moving speech about how these courses, and these students, will have access to the exciting job market for which there is currently an employment gap.
She said: ““Howard, my husband and I have always believed in building creative skills for the future and growing a workforce from the grass roots up. It’s therefore essential that employers offer unique training opportunities for young people wishing to pursue careers in the creative industries. “We’ve always prided ourselves in discovering and nurturing new talent, both on and off the stage, and equipping them with the industry skills and knowledge needed to kick-start their careers.
“Congratulations to everybody receiving their certificates and those who won awards this evening.”
The winners of the night were:
Ryan Waters Learner Rising Star Award
Ellis Page Learner Champion of the Year
Ben Smith Exemplary Learner of the Year
Damian McManus Apprenticeship Champion of the Year
Melanie Wells Apprenticeship Rising Star
Conor Heron Exemplary Apprenticeship of the Year
National Theatre Inclusive Apprenticeship Employer of the Year
London Theatre Consortium Employer Consortium of the Year
Academy Music Group Large Employer of the Year
Tracey Cooper Employee of the Year
Ellis Page was unable to collect her award on the night due to travel commitments for work, but a video was shown in which she thanked the college and saw her receive her award.
The event was held at The Backstage Centre in Purfleet with students currently studying technical stage management, lighting and sound courses, using the event to put their learning into practice.
Mayor of Thurrock, Cllr Barbara Rice was in attendance and said: “The Backstage Centre, and the National College of Creative Industries is a wonderful gem in Thurrock’s tapestry.
“Students are travelling far and wide to attend these bespoke and industry approved courses here in Thurrock and I’m proud to support the students and college through their journey.
“My congratulations to all that helped put the event on and to the students and employers who continually do us proud.”