6 March 2014 at 1.27pm | Comment on this article
This week, the first set of Creative Employment Programme trainees will start their positions in cultural organizations across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Essex. The traineeships, offered exclusively to young people not in education, employment or training aged between 16-19, offer participants their first chance to work in the arts.
Paul Surridge, 16, from Clacton is about to start his traineeship with the Colchester Institute. Paul left school last year with no qualifications and is hoping this traineeship will be the start of a career in sound and lighting.
‘I want to be a technician as I have always enjoyed watching light shows and seeing how lights connect with the music,’ he says. ‘I feel very excited that I have the next ten weeks to find out all I want to know about sound and lights from the technicians supervising us.’
As well as gaining experience, the trainees will work towards Level 1 qualifications, including a Bronze Arts Award. They will also spend at least 12 days working in cultural organizations and will visit the High House Production Park - the location of the Royal Opera House scenic workshop - and attend a performance at Covent Garden.
At the end of their placement trainees will have support with the next stage of their career, whether progressing to a college course to start a Level 2 qualification or looking for suitable employment opportunities.
The Creative Employment Programme aims to create 1,600 traineeship opportunities across England by March 2015. To help reach this goal, ROH Bridge will create 100 traineeships across Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and North Kent over the next year.