Hermina Chance, Hair, Wigs and Make-up ©2019 ROH. Photograph by Sim Canetty-Clarke
Hermina Chance, Hair, Wigs and Make-up ©2019 ROH. Photograph by Sim Canetty-Clarke

The Apprenticeships Scheme

The Royal Opera House has been offering innovative apprenticeships in backstage production and technical departments since 2007. The scheme has recently expanded to include areas such as IT and Finance. We provide high quality vocational training by learning on the job from some of the best skilled in the industry. We offer different apprenticeships each year. These will not be confirmed until we start advertising them in May. In recent years we have offered apprenticeships such as: theatre technician, costume making, scenic carpentry, hair wigs and make-up. We do not offer any design-based apprenticeships.

"My apprenticeship has taught me invaluable on-the-job experience that textbook learning cannot provide. I have also made lots of connections that have helped me to network for work and industry knowledge."

To apply, you must:

  • be aged 18 or over on the start date
  • have authorisation to work in the UK
  • Not have a degree-level (or equivalent) qualification

No other specific qualifications are necessary, although a few apprenticeships that we offer have minimum GCSE requirements. Each job description outlines the skills and interests that we are looking for.

Here are some helpful hints and tips that you can use when applying.

Apprenticeships begin in September, with recruitment taking place during May and June. You can sign up for an e-mail alert to let you know that apprenticeships are open for application.

How apprenticeships work

Apprentices will work between 40 and 42.5 working hours a week, including college time. All apprenticeships involve an element of study for an apprenticeship standard. By law, an apprentice must spend 20% of their employed hours taking part in off-the-job training. Most apprenticeships last two years (a few last longer).

All apprentices are paid the  National Living Wage, rising by 2.5% in the second year. You are entitled to all National Living Wage rises. Apprentices are expected to use this to pay for their own travel to work and college. Unfortunately, we do not offer accommodation as part of the scheme.

“I’ve made some great friends and the Opera House while teaching me a lot as a technician, has also taught me many things about myself and opened so many opportunities...I can’t wait to see what is next!”