This time of year is always an exciting time for young people. Whether it’s starting sixth form with a spate of great GCSE results, starting an apprenticeship or returning to university, September always signifies the start of something fresh!

With the increase in university fees making the traditional route from A Levels to degree level more contentious than ever before, we’ve devised a guide to help school leavers source apprenticeship schemes in the arts and theatre design sector.

There are some fantastic companies out there who are more than happy to train enthusiastic young staff. Even if you don’t live close enough to a major theatre or arts centre, there should be plenty of opportunities for you to find work in your chosen industry. Of course, apprenticeships are open to anybody, so please don’t let your age or past employment experience hold you back.

Apprenticeships – An overview

Apprenticeships are very much about earning and learning simultaneously and it’s fair to say there has been a marked increase in the opportunities available since university fees have been increased. Apprenticeships are available in a range of industries and there are a number of sites which allow students to search for roles by interest. Many of the most well-known theatre companies also have dedicated work experience and apprenticeships schemes, so there’s plenty of ways to start working towards your dream career.

We have listed a selection of useful resources and job portals below to help get you started. is a comprehensive resource which includes everything you need to know about earning and learning. Information for parents is readily available as well as advice about pay and holiday entitlement. Once you’ve ironed out the details, the site also lists current vacancies across a variety of sectors.

The guide offered by the government offers helpful information for both apprentices and employers and is a great resource when looking into your rights as an apprentice.

Rather self-explanatory, Not Going to Uni helps young people find apprenticeships, college courses and work experience. You can search opportunities, get advice from people in a similar position and learn application tips and tricks from their blog.

If you’re looking for opportunities in a specific theatre, many of the most well-known offer dedicated schemes across technical theatre and other areas such as customer services and catering. Have a look at the apprenticeship case studies on the National Theatre website, they including fascinating roles in subjects such as prop making.

  • Local Colleges

If you’ve just finished your A Levels and aren’t sure what to do next, your local college will be able to offer you careers advice and help you to secure an apprenticeship. Some colleges, such as The Manchester College, specialise in apprenticeship schemes for both school leavers and adults.

Speak to your local college to see what’s available, chances are they’ll be an institution in your area which offers a range of exciting options for apprentices.

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