As an organisation, we pride ourselves on our industry knowledge, personal service and high technical standards. We are also extremely passionate about developing the next generation of talent and a way in which we do this is through our annual apprenticeship scheme. Since 2011, we have overseen 49 apprenticeships. Those who have completed the course have all gone on to work in the industry, whether it’s as Production Manager, Site Technician or Account Handlers. We also won Best Apprentice Employer in 2012 along with Best Collaboration with Education Providers in 2014 with Fairfield Halls and ATG; both at the Creative and Cultural Skills Awards. Later this year, we will once again be on the lookout for our next intake of Technical Apprentices and would like to encourage anyone interested to apply.
The WL Apprenticeship aims to nurture those embarking on a career in technical theatre. The apprenticeship is a Level 3 Creative Venue Technician course which is a combination of ‘on-site’ and ‘in-house’ training. Working along their training provider the National College of Creative Industries, WL will deliver specific training courses in order for those embarking on the apprenticeship to receive the necessary base skills and certification that is recognised and required in the industry.
The scheme is overseen by WL’s Health & Safety and Workforce Development Director Chris Nicholls. He comments: “The scheme has been tailored to ensure it offers everything those wanting a technical career in the industry require. Whether it’s the preparation and maintenance of AV and lighting equipment, first-hand experience of working at some of London’s most prolific venues, along with training across all departments here at WL, they will receive a wide range of opportunities and skillsets that aren’t available elsewhere”.
Following on from its previous success, the Technical Apprentice Scheme will run again this year for an August/September intake. The company is encouraging a range of candidates to apply, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds. Following receipt of the applications, the WL team will draw up a shortlist of 16 candidates. These 16 will then be invited to a Recruitment Day in July at WL’s Wimbledon base where they will receive a full overview of the company. During this time, they will spend time with the various WL departments and undertake a practical test. This shortlist will then be narrowed down to four who will then be invited to join the WL Apprenticeship scheme.
Chris explains: “Whilst we only have the capacity to take on four apprentices, we try to ensure we offer support and guidance to all of those shortlisted; whether this is offering them work experience, casual work or just sitting them down for a cup of tea and discussing their next steps”.
Anyone interested in applying can do so via the WL Apprentice page. WL will be opening applications around May 2019.
Chris concludes: “The fact that our Apprentice scheme has won awards, as well as allowed those who’ve undertaken it to have successful careers in the industry, just shows what an extremely valuable training scheme it is. We are looking forward to receiving the applications later this year and working with our latest intake of young, passionate technical apprentices”.