Leeds arts project will put apprentices in the limelight

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GRACE Dean and Bethany Beal couldn’t believe their luck when they landed starring roles as apprentices at Leeds Grand Theatre.

Their hard work and dedication soon paid off, with both being offered full-time jobs at the iconic venue, Grace as a heritage learning assistant and Bethany works in finance.

Now the pair are supporting a special event aimed at putting schemes like these in the limelight, as part of a council-backed initiative to help cultural organisations recruit young people keen on crafting a career in their industry.

Galleries, museums, music venues, theatres and other arts organisations are being invited to The Carriageworks next week, to find out how funding from Arts Council England - totalling £15m - can help with the cost of recruiting apprentices and paid interns.

Grace, 22, jumped at the chance of becoming an apprentice at the historic Leeds Grand Theatre.

“I have met and worked with so many great people and I have learnt so much,” she said. “I give tours of the theatre, work with the Youth Theatre and create and deliver workshops for young people. I love my job but were I to move on I know the skills I have gained will stand me in good stead.”

Bethany, 21, is a finance assistant at the 135-year-old venue. “I was delighted to work at The Grand and City Varieties Music Hall through the apprenticeship scheme,” she said.

“I always loved maths, too, so doing both in one job is amazing. Being an apprentice was a great experience for me and forged the start of my career.”

The free briefing is taking place on March 11, from 2pm until 4.30pm, at The Carriageworks theatre on Millenium Square.

It will include discussions about arts employers working in partnership to share resources and provide an easier way to access the £15m funding.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, the council’s leisure and skills portfolio holder, said: “Apprenticeships can open up a world of exciting and fascinating opportunities. I hope we will see more young people given the right pathway into these interesting and important jobs.”

For event details, email cep@ccskills.org.uk. For further information on apprentices see www.creative-employment.co.uk.


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