• Training

National Apprenticeship Week: The Interview

This week is National Apprenticeship Week. The Backstage Centre is lucky to have three apprentices helping to make up our team.

Meet Ted, Phoebe and Baileigh, we sat down with them to learn more about their experiences and opinions of apprenticeship life.

Collage image of profile photos for Phoebe, Ted and Baileigh who are all dressed in their black uniforms.  The top left hand corner feathers a logo that is made from smaller grey and orange squares to make a larger square.  To the right there is text reading "The Backstage Centre".  In the bottom right hand corner the text reads National Apprenticeship Week in Orange and 8-14 February in grey.

How did you find out about the opportunity for your apprenticeship?

Baileigh – I found out the opportunity through my sister who worked for the National College of Creative Industries (NCCI) who deliver my apprenticeship.

Phoebe – Using the Gov.uk website. I was searching for film technician apprenticeships

 Ted – I was working at The Backstage Centre and a member of staff from NCCI asked if I had considered doing an apprenticeship so I could work and study. 

What qualification will you finish with?

Baileigh – At the end of my apprenticeship I will come out with a Level 3 Business Administrator qualification. 

Phoebe – I am working towards Level 3 Live Events Technician.

Ted – Same as Phoebe, Level 3 Live Event Technician.

What kind of tasks do you do?

Phoebe – The tasks I do are quite varied.  I provide customer service to our clients, take part in event preparation and do hands-on work maintaining and operating technical equipment.

Ted– Customer service, building and equipment maintenance and hands-on technical work.

Baileigh – I work front of house, on reception. Where I have responsibility to ensure everyone is safe, accounted for and wearing the correct equipment. I take daily responsibility for the fire evacuation list, I answer the phone and make sure everyone is wears their lanyard for safeguarding purposes. I make sure all post makes its way to the correct people and everything is looking immaculate in reception. 

What does a normal day look like for you?

Baileigh – Not each day will be the same.  It depends on whether we have clients on the stage or not. Typically, I am answering the phone, sorting out mail and accepting deliveries.  Additionally, if we have clients in, I monitor the signing in procedure and assist them if they need anything, for example providing local knowledge if they are looking to source something.

Phoebe – When clients are in, I will unlock the building, then set up so everything is ready for them.  Then throughout the day I will do my building walk arounds, help clients with anything they might need.

When the stage is empty, I will be maintaining the building and equipment to ensure everything is ready for the next company.

Ted – Without a client I do general and technical maintenance jobs. When a client is in, I will be assisting them with anything they need.  Some days this is helping to patch DMX around the building other days I could be operating the fly bars for their set install.

Ted, wearing a hi vis vest and orange helmet stands next to a genie hoist mounting a motor onto a yellow bean.  He is assisted y another man also wearing a hi vis vest and a white helmet
Ted at work in the grid

What are the three things you enjoy most about being an apprentice?

Baileigh

–  I like being part of a professional team

– I also like that my assessor Amanda is really helpful and I can ask her question at any point if I’m stuck on a piece of work.  

-Finally, I like that I get to work at the same time as being an apprentice as I’m still learning new things every day. 

Ted

-The knowledge I gain through practical and course work

-The opportunities to meet and connect with industry professionals

-The experience I will be able to carry into my career once I am finished training

Phoebe

-Getting to go on interesting, industry training courses.  So far, I have done pyro training, forklift driving license and ETC ION lighting desk training.

-Meeting other apprentices at training sessions, PLASA and other networking events. 

-The opportunity to meet industry professionals during training sessions

Phoebe driving a yellow forklift truck, there are wooden pallets in the foreground.  An assessor stands to the right f the truck watching her drive
Phoebe during the training for her forklift license

What don’t you enjoy?

Ted – The amount of paperwork and needing to evidence everything as I tend to get too carried away in the fun of my job to get the evidence. 

Baileigh – The only thing I can say I don’t really enjoy is when its busy at the reception.  I am working hard on time management so I can get everything I need to do done.

Phoebe – That some of the training can be quite similar to other parts.  Especially when you are doing the work in your job every day.

What has been your biggest challenge during your apprenticeship?

Baileigh – The biggest challenge in my apprenticeship has got to be when I changed assessors. It was a lot of change. However, my new assessor Amanda, is helping me get back on track. 

Phoebe – Keeping motivated and on track. 

Ted – Keeping to the deadlines.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to somebody considering one?  If so why?

Ted – Yes because it gives you practical experience whilst training, which I think will help with employment prospects in the future.  

Baileigh – I would recommend an apprenticeship to someone as you get to work with great people on the way. There is lots of variety to what you will be doing.  You are working but also still learning. I have learnt a lot of new things that I didn’t know before starting this apprenticeship.  

Phoebe – I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone but it is a good way of getting into the industry as you meet people and build connections whilst you train. 

What do you hope to do once you have completed your apprenticeship? 

Phoebe – I want to go into live music touring in the future and then eventually work in a contracted job in film or theatre. 

Baileigh – Once my apprenticeship is completed, I hope that I will have the opportunity to put my new skills to use in an admin role.

Ted – Continue to work and grow my experience in the Live Events Industry.

Thank you Phoebe, Ted and Baileigh, we wish you luck with the rest of your apprenticeship!

You can learn more about employing an apprentice or becoming an apprentice through the governments apprenticeship website.

The Backstage Centre, High House Production Park, Vellacott Close Off London Road, Purfleet-on-Thames, Essex RM19 1RJ

Follow Us