The Royal Opera House announces eight new apprenticeships

The Royal Opera House has been providing sector-leading apprenticeships for fourteen years and, as we reopen our doors after more than a year of closure, we are delighted to announce eight* new apprenticeships for the start of our new Season. 

Since 2007 the Royal Opera House has supported and trained 66 entry-level apprentices in production and technical departments. Thanks to the success of these positions, the scheme has now expanded to include areas such as IT, Communications and Finance, driving an open-door policy that allows us to encourage and maintain a diverse workforce that can thrive in the creative industries. 

This year the Royal Opera House is expanding its roster of apprentice roles to include positions in event management and social media, ensuring that the Royal Opera House offers wide-ranging entry level roles, widening industry access for those who might not otherwise consider a career in the arts. 

The apprenticeships provide high quality vocational training and are supported by some of the most skilled practitioners in the UK’s arts industry. Apprentices gain a relevant qualification alongside training for two years on the job, ensuring that when apprentices leave paid employment they are job and industry ready with a fantastic breadth of experience under their belts. 

Since the scheme began in 2007, 88% of Royal Opera House apprentice graduates remain within the sector, traversing theatre, TV and film. Many apprentices return to work full time at the Royal Opera House, or return to work in freelance roles after their two-year training completes. 

Bendy Ashfield, Apprentice Manager at The Royal Opera House said: 

“The devastation to the arts and the loss of careers in the creative industries following the pandemic has been tragic. With that as our backdrop, we have worked incredibly hard to ensure that the talent pipeline and apprentice opportunities remain a priority. We are delighted to announce these new apprenticeships for 2021, and are proud that we have expanded these opportunities to ensure communications and events careers can flourish. It’s fantastic to be working alongside the very best arts industry professionals to provide much-needed training opportunities and we hope that this new set of entry level opportunities will help create a diverse, highly skilled creative workforce long into the future.” 

As the largest employer of artists in the UK outside of the BBC, the Royal Opera House is committed to transforming its workforce and driving wider access to creative roles.  The Royal Opera House has maintained its support for these roles during the pandemic, ensuring that the future remains focused on talent development and entry level roles, diversifying our workforce and opening the sector to many – to ensure it is a true reflection of our communities today. 

Since 2007 nearly 90% of Royal Opera House apprentice graduates have gone on to successful careers working across the globe on wide ranging, high profile arts projects. Graduates have successful careers in live events, theatre, TV and film.  With guided support, Royal Opera House apprentices have developed the knowledge, skills and hands-on experience they need to thrive in creative organisations and ensure long-term careers in the arts. 

Former Technical Theatre apprentice James said: 

“To sum up the last two years, it has been a rollercoaster of emotions, challenges and very steep learning curves, I’ve had the chance to work with some of the best in the business, on some of the newest and biggest shows and some of the oldest and most prestigious. I’ve made some great friends and the opera house while teaching me a lot as a technician, it has also taught me many things about myself and opened so many opportunities.” 

Former Stage Engineering apprentice Priya said: 

“My apprenticeship has given me the confidence to do all the things I’m done since; from working on The X Factor set with Scott Fleary Productions, to planning a volunteering trip overseas to use my skills to build houses for those most in need. I don’t even bite my nails anymore, that’s how much I’ve grown in confidence!” 

Scenic Art Apprentice Danny said: 

“The working environment is fantastic. Everyone is so friendly, and it is great to have the opportunity to learn my trade from professionals at the top of their game. I still cannot quite believe how lucky I am. Being chosen as the scenic artist apprentice was nothing short of miraculous for me and my future career. I am so pleased to rise out of bed each morning knowing what fun lies ahead of me in the day, even if it is a 5am wake up. Surely that is when you know you are in the right job.’ 

Applications are now open for the following 2021 Royal Opera House apprenticeships:

The ROH apprenticeship scheme is very generously supported by The Derek Butler Trust, John Lyon’s Charity, The Headley Trust, Sir John Beckwith Charitable Trust, The Gatsby Charitable Foundation and other philanthropic donors