White Light has been named Employer of the Year at the Creative & Culture Awards 2019.
The Creative & Cultural Skills showcase the individuals and organisations that have shown an outstanding commitment to skill development and learning in the creative industries. Having previously won the CC Skills Best Apprentice Employer in 2012 along with Best Collaboration with Education Providers in 2014, WL was shortlisted for Employer of the Year this year alongside Rubican Dance and Manchester International Festival. Last night, they were announced as winners at a ceremony held in the National Museum Cardiff with over 200 guests in attendance.
Simon Dancey, CEO of Creative & Cultural Skills, comments: “2019 drew the highest number of nominations in the event’s history. The calibre of nominees we had in this year’s awards was truly exceptional. As a sector we’re not very good at celebrating the work we do, particularly the work which goes on behind the scenes. These awards are designed as a chance for us to take time out of our usual day-to-day activities and reflect on our successes”.
WL’s Health & Safety and Workforce Development Director Chris Nicholls comments: “It’s an absolute honour to be awarded as the Employer of the Year at the CC Skills Awards. As a company, we have made it a personal commitment to ensure we give our apprentices the very best training possible. Our aim is to expand their knowledge, give them unforgettable experiences, and ensure that they are fully equipped with the vital skills they will need for their future careers. To be recognised like this is a huge honour and we are extremely grateful to everyone at CC Skills for doing so”.
The Award was presented by Cassie Chadderton, Head of UK Theatre, who commented on the evening: “This is an employer known for its support in the industry but not always recognised for the commitment they show to the workforce development of their own staff. They have played a leading role in championing apprenticeships within their own workplace and within the sector”.
Having run its Apprentice Scheme since 2011, White Light has overseen a total of 49 technical apprenticeships, with 6% of its current workforce made up of apprentices. The company provides a solid grounding in technical knowledge when the apprentices first; rotating them between warehouse departments such as Moving Lights, LED, Systems and Control Rigging, Cables, Sound, Video and Audio, Operations and Technical Services. They then move into the Site Technician team, allowing each one to work on various events such as the London Fashion Weeks, Covent Garden Christmas Lights as well as meetings and conferences in venues where WL is the in-house technical supplier such as Central Hall Westminster and Claridge’s.
WL also works closely with similar networks who also offer apprenticeships within the technical framework, allowing our apprentices to interchange and receive placements in different venues such as Royal Opera House, the National Theatre and VAULT Festival. The company has also decided to widen its apprentice offering and give candidates the opportunity to work in an office-based role, taking on two Business Administration Apprenticeships who will train and develop their skills within the marketing and business support departments.
Chris comments: “As a company, we’re proud to have fulfilled our commitment of taking on an average at least six intakes a year since 2011 and will continue to do so, with our next intake being in May. As the first employer in the country to take on the new Creative Venue Technician framework, not only do we want to push our apprentices, but also ourselves, ensuring we offer our apprentices a scheme that they wouldn’t receive anywhere else”.