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National Apprenticeship Week celebrated with prize-giving ceremony

As they graduate, we take a look at the work of three of our apprentices.

By Lowri Jones (Former Apprenticeships and Work Experience Co-ordinator)

9 February 2012 at 3.07pm | 4 Comments

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, the Royal Opera House recently invited staff, college tutors, friends and family to attend a prize-giving ceremony congratulating our latest group of graduating apprentices.

The work of three apprentices was celebrated at the event - Community Arts Apprentice Shaun Bajnoczky and Technical Theatre Apprentices Louis Hector and Andrew Hulstrom.

For many talented young people like Shaun, Louis and Andrew, getting a first job in the arts is a challenge and as such we are proud to offer a pioneering and well respected apprenticeship programme. This provides places for up to eight young people each year to gain high-quality vocational training, learning from people within our organisation who are some of the most highly skilled in the industry.

Having worked as a casual in our Technical department after leaving school, Louis Hector jumped at the opportunity of gaining formal training at the Royal Opera House and of working towards a qualification in technical theatre. Thanks to the John Lyons Charity who fund our Technical Theatre apprenticeships, over the last 18 months Louis has spent time working in several areas within the technical department – lighting systems, sound and broadcast, both in the Linbury Studio Theatre and on the main stage. Since the apprenticeship began, he has studied for his NVQ at City and Islington College and achieved an NVQ Level 3 in Technical Theatre (Lighting, Sound and Rigging).

“My apprenticeship has been a very positive experience where I have been able to learn new and varied skills that will be invaluable to me in the industry. Everybody here took time to teach me what they knew and I feel very lucky for having had this experience.”

Like Louis, Andrew Hulstrom also worked across many of the technical departments, particularly enjoying his time working with the lighting and sound and broadcast departments. Having already completed a City and Guilds Level 2 and 3 in Electrotechnical Technology, Andrew came to the Royal Opera House with an excellent grounding in electrics that would stand him in good stead for some of the work as a stage technician. For Anna Nicole, Andrew was responsible for wiring up a very large fridge on set which contained a rather substantial 4Kw worth of light, which certainly lit up the stage!

“I will relish the fact that my work will now be seen all over the world on future Anna Nicole productions. I have been challenged every day of my apprenticeship and I look forward to building on the knowledge and skills I have acquired in whatever role I do next.”   

Shaun Bajnoczky spent two years with our Education Team in Thurrock, his first job after leaving further education and completed a Level 3 Award in Community Arts Management: 

"The apprenticeship has been an amazing experience. I have enjoyed being part of an exciting and vibrant team and being local to Thurrock, I have loved being able to take the work of the Royal Opera House in to the community.”

Previous Royal Opera House apprentices have achieved continued success in the sector, making costumes for the Olympic Opening Ceremony, painting scenery at the Sydney Opera House and gaining employment within the organisation. As they come to the end of their time at the Royal Opera House, we are certain that Louis, Andrew and Shaun have equally promising futures ahead of them. We wish them well!

By Lowri Jones (Former Apprenticeships and Work Experience Co-ordinator)

9 February 2012 at 3.07pm

This article has been categorised Workshop and tagged apprentice, Education, employment, jobs, theatre, Thurrock, work

This article has 4 comments

  1. Ahmed Shawky Abdelhamid responded on 9 February 2012 at 3:35pm Reply

    the royal opera house should give the chance to those who have the talent,i know an opera singer in Egypt have a unique voice and only 4 singers in the world who have her voice but she isn't that lucky

  2. Elizabeth Watson responded on 16 February 2012 at 11:21pm Reply

    It is encouraging to read of attention given to those who are training to contribute to the less frequently publicized fields of activity associated with staging the productions of the ROH.Obviously an essential part of the team which delivers the designs and effects . Congratulations to all concerned,the young people featured and to those who nurture the young people in all departments who will contribute to the future success of the ROH.

  3. D.L. Keshani responded on 23 June 2013 at 10:29am Reply

    The Royal Opera House should give more opportunities for children to get involved who don't live in London. My son who lives in Leicestershire and doing 1 instrument at grade 8 and another at Grade 7, would love some opportunities in the summer holidays to get involved in the royal opera house orchestra's. Very difficult for us as parents to inspire him as we come from a totally non musical background. At the moment, he works exceptionally hard to pass his grading exams, but getting involved in something like this would be a life changing experience for him.

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