Apprentices in the Create Gloucestershire network
Glenn Hazard, David Bath and Kate Townley are apprentices in the Create Gloucestershire network, which has over 100 members from across the local arts and cultural sector. They discuss how they got started as apprentices, where they want to go next and offer some tips.
What do you do in your apprenticeship?
“I am the business and admin apprentice at Gdance, who are a non-profit organisation that do dance workshops and productions, as well as providing teacher training courses on working with disabled dancers.
“My day-to day-role consists of data entry, file management, answering calls and minute taking in meetings. I recently compiled all of their news articles into a press folder and it was interesting to look back over the company’s history. I’ve organised their inventory and I’m currently recycling their outdated archive information."
"I’m the technical apprentice at The Roses Theatre."
"I’m a project manager apprentice at Artshape."
How did you get started?
“I work part-time in a supermarket (and still do for the time being).
“I’ve been looking for full-time work for a while. I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I started doing work experience in an office environment and realised I wanted to do an apprenticeship in business."
“I had left school and was just looking for temporary work while I decided what I wanted to do in the long term. I hadn’t heard much about apprenticeships as I think my school assumed we would all go to university. But as I didn’t, I thought an apprenticeship could be a good alternative.
I was quite shy to start with, but this has helped me develop my confidence.
“I was looking online for local apprenticeships and saw this role at The Roses Theatre. It seemed like something that could be a real career choice rather than just a temporary job.
"I have had an interest in backstage theatre since having been a chorister and involved in school productions, but I didn’t expect to see an apprenticeship in this area of work. As I’ve always been interested in work in the field of music or sound, this looked like a great opportunity. I don't know how I could get into this type of job otherwise.”
What have you learnt from your apprenticeship?
“I’ve learnt what an office environment is like and the responsibilities in this role.
“It has given me the qualifications, skills and experience to enter this field of work and opened other doors relating to the types of work I’ve done.”
“I’ve built up far more technical knowledge in my role about different types of equipment and what it’s all called – all the jargon – and how everything fits together. But it’s a very steep learning curve. There’s still so much I don’t know yet!”
“I’ve learnt what I can do. Having come from school and college, which are very classroom-based, I’d not really had a proper job before where I’ve been in charge of projects and had this level of responsibility.
“What I’ve learnt is that actually I can do it, and I am really organised.
“I was quite shy to start with, but this has helped me develop my confidence as I am always talking to different people and answering the phones. I also have much more confidence in my own decisions as well.”
What are the best and worst things about your apprenticeship?
“I enjoy helping and supporting my team members. Visiting dance rehearsals and classes in order to see what the company does has also made my work a lot more fulfilling, knowing its going towards a good cause.
I've had an interest in backstage theatre since school, but I didn’t expect to see an apprenticeship in this area of work.
“The most challenging bit is multi-tasking and organising. It’s something that I haven’t had much experience in. I struggle when it comes to coping with stress and being put under pressure, but as long as I prioritise my jobs for the day and break down how I will set about doing my tasks, I manage to keep on top of things.”
“Both the best and worst things for me are the irregular hours. I do 30 hours a week, but depending on what’s on I’ll do more or less and the hours change around. Sometimes I don’t need to be in work until 10 or midday which is nice, but then I’ll need to work late nights. I don’t mind this too much.
“The thing I do find difficult is having to work on weekends – I sometimes lose track of what day it is.”
“The variety of my work is the best thing. I’m never just doing one thing – it’s always changing and I’m always working with different people, different classes and on different projects.
“Sometimes it can be stressful trying to pull projects together when you don’t necessarily have as much time as you’d like!”
What do you want to do next?
"I want to work in a data entry office role and build my skills and career within that company. Any further education I would wish to do would have to fit around my job."
"I would like to specialise in sound and build a career in that part of the industry."
How do you become an apprentice?
“As long as you are willing to learn, committed, willing to take responsibility for your tasks (including having to work at home) and understand the importance of working as a team, then you can fit in any apprenticeship that you want.”
“Maintain a positive outlook. If you haven’t done something before, be prepared to give it a go and try your best.”
“Be passionate about what you’re doing. If you’re promoting things and trying to get people involved in your organisation, you have to make sure your own passion will excite others.”
In 2014 Create Gloucestershire secured just under £50,000 from the Creative Employment Programme. They created 19 employment opportunities in order to ensure equitable routes into creative employment across the county and help develop a talented workforce to sustain the sector.
Create Gloucestershire are working with nine employers on this consortium pilot, and will be expanding with a new application. The Summerfield Trust is supporting a new branch of the project, creating placements for young people in rural areas.