Ben Graves, theatre apprentice
Ben was looking for work in the creative industries when he first heard about apprenticeships at Hampstead Theatre through Arts Jobs.
Working at Hampstead Theatre, Ben has been co-ordinating work experience pupils, giving out tasks, making weekly timetables, writing feedback reports and liaising directly with teachers.
He's become a lynchpin for the organisation.
"I have also been able help organise timetables, auditions and work experience, inputting evaluation statistics from previous projects and, compiling information or resources for future projects and some of the freelance practitioners."
Getting into theatre
Before he became an apprentice, Ben spent his time composing music, playing in a band and performing at gigs every week.
He also worked as a studio assistant engineer in a high profile recording studio in West London.
"When I saw the job post at Hampstead Theatre I thought 'What an amazing opportunity!’
"This apprenticeship was the perfect chance to rekindle my passion for drama and theatre"
"I am originally from Northern Ireland. It’s because of opportunities and apprenticeships like this that my home city of Belfast has become a much more peaceful place, giving young people the chance to get involved with some aspects of the artistic community.
"I thought this apprenticeship was the perfect opportunity to rekindle my passion for drama and theatre.
"Having put on my own musical showcase nights in Belfast, I also wanted to see how I could transfer the project management skills I'd gained from that job in to this, and what new skills I could learn."
Thoughts on apprenticeships
Ben thinks apprenticeships are fantastic.
"It's very difficult to get a job in the creative industries - the apprenticeship gives you some hands-on experience."
"They give people like me, who haven't gone down the stereotypical university path the chance to get some hands-on experience whilst earning a wage.
"They're also a great way to get into this competitive industry, and a valuable tool to help you expand your skills.
"Working here, I've been able help organise timetables, auditions and work experience. I've been inputting evaluation statistics from previous projects and compiling information and resources for future projects.
"It's a fantastic feeling to see some of these projects in action."
Job prospects after an apprenticeship
"It’s very difficult to get a job in any industry, but especially work in the creative industries (even with a university degree).
"The apprenticeship allows you to get hands-on experience, a qualification and a chance to maybe go on to university. You can also take the experience you have gained from your post to another job – and it might even give you the confidence to pursue your own business venture.
"It's a great programme for young people and I hope it continues."