An apprenticeship is a great way to learn new skills and get qualified whilst earning money.

If you want to develop your skills and knowledge in a practical environment, an apprenticeship could be just right for you. An RSC apprenticeship will equip you for future employment in the theatre industry by learning from experts and being supported by mentors and learning providers.

We offer a wide range of apprenticeships in areas that include customer services, venue management, our children's nursery, carpentry and engineering.  

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An apprentice in a headset works on a piece of equipment.
Alex, our Automation apprentice, hard at work.

Life at the RSC

Alex Jackson is an apprentice with our Automation Department, studying towards a Level 3 qualification as a Creative Venue Technician. He answered some questions about getting started on the programme and his experiences so far:

Did you have any experience before you started at the RSC?

At A-Level I studied Product Design, Music, and Music Technology which I think gave me a good basis of skills and knowledge which I could then adapt to fit technical work in the creative industry.

I had a job for a year or so where I worked as a casual technician at my local theatre in Malvern. I worked with the Stage Crew as well as the Sound and Lighting departments at Malvern Theatres whilst trying to balance the work hours around Sixth Form and occasionally sleeping!

Describe your typical work day.

It’s very difficult to describe a typical day in the Automation Department as there is such variety. Some days I am called in for a calm day of catching up with work projects and coursework etc, but some days are a lot more hands on.

Currently I am working towards programming the third show in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Summer Season, Measure for Measure. This is very exciting as I was not expecting to be the programmer for a Royal Shakespeare Company production less than a year into my apprenticeship.

What's your favourite part of the job?

One of my favourite parts of my job is operating shows. It puts a lot of responsibility on me, as you might expect - flying objects that weigh hundreds of kilograms, if not tons, is definitely dangerous - so being the one in control of these items is a little bit like the childhood feeling I had when a motorised Lego model moved for the first time! I enjoy the responsibility and pressure of helping to safely create and repeatedly recreate large scale theatrical moments/effects. Also building the effects is very rewarding; we make a lot of the ‘Magic Tricks’ happen, so knowing how it works every time gives me a little buzz of excitement.

What's the most challenging part of your work?

There is a massive amount to learn doing a job like this, especially as someone who had never done any work on automation before. So it’s sometimes quite difficult to absorb all the information in one go; however it does help to be doing it as a job rather than just reading from a book. There’s a lot of technical information, safety policies and guidelines, rules and regulations, as well as actually how to do the job. However, once you start to get on top of all of these, it becomes a very rewarding job.

What advice would you give to young people who are considering an apprenticeship?

Go for it! If you're anything like me then you won’t be 100% sure what you want to do education wise after A-levels. Uni? Apprenticeship? Job? There are many options, but I really wasn’t extremely set on one, until I saw this advertised and I was set on going for it. I had to act quickly as I only found the position near the deadline, but I got on with it and got the job. Now I don’t regret anything to do with being here so I would say, if you find something you’re interested in, just go for it. Get all your paperwork done and apply to it, go to open days, and don’t panic about interviews.

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