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Nathan Wallis, 20, Show Technician Apprentice at the Royal Albert Hall

UK Always showing a passion for theatre Nathan was blown away after gaining a place on the Royal Albert Hall’s first ever apprenticeship scheme. He now works full time at the Hall with the show and technical department whilst gaining a Level 3 Technical Theatre qualification.

“I always really enjoyed theatre production at school and would often volunteer to help out at schools and the local church but it always felt like a hobby, I never dreamed it could be a career path for me. That is why when I left school I studied carpentry and began to work in that industry.”  

Nathan however, did not give up on his hobby and ended up volunteering with the lights and technical department at the Brighton Pavilion. This experience introduced him to TSL Lighting, the company that would later tweet about the new apprenticeship scheme at the Royal Albert Hall highlighting the opportunity to Nathan.

“I was over the moon when I was asked to come in for an interview and even more excited when I got the job, it’s the Royal Albert Hall! It has been a fantastic experience and I have made so many great contacts within the industry already.”

Working full time at the Hall Nathan has office days which allow him to complete the coursework/theory side of his Level 3 Technical Theatre qualification. Meeting with his tutor roughly every six weeks the course is mostly completed online and is evidence based focused meaning Nathan can put his technical skills into practice.

“There is a great variety everyday depending on the show and space at the Hall; you can do anything from setting up a microphone for the latest Free Music Friday band in Verdi, to lighting and staging in the main auditorium. In my first week David Gilmour played so it was all hand on deck and a great way to get up to speed quickly!”

The majority of Nathan’s friends have gone down the traditional route of university.

“I knew at school that going to university wouldn’t be for me, I learn with my hands so wanted something a lot more practical. An apprenticeship is perfect for me. I feel taking this route has put me way ahead of my peers, not only am I gaining a professional qualification but I am gaining invaluable work experience at the same time. I am also making some great industry contacts; the apprenticeship is really opening a lot of doors for me and my future.”

Last year saw the launch of the Royal Albert Hall’s first ever apprenticeship scheme which is part of the expansive education and outreach programme reaching over 150,000 children and adults each year. Following the success of the scheme the Royal Albert Hall is actively looking for funding to support the growth of this initiative following its first year. Whilst the venue does all that it can to encourage anyone interested in a career in the arts, it is a charity that receives no Government revenue funding and without financial support it will be unable to continue this scheme.

22nd February 2017

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