Theatre consortium launches regional internships for unemployed young people

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A group of 11 theatres will offer internships to 16 young unemployed people after receiving funding from Arts Council England’s Creative Employment Programme.

ACE’s scheme, run by Creative and Cultural Skills, has awarded the theatres half of the money needed – £41,200 – towards paying the interns. The venues involved will raise the rest of the money.

All of the participating theatres are based in the south-east and east of England and are part of House – a consortium of 116 theatres which came together in 2012 to improve the range and scale of theatre presented across the region. The consortium put in a bid to the Creative Employment Programme to fund the internship schemes.

Venues that will host internships include the Corn Exchange in Newbury and Farnham Maltings in Surrey.

Each will offer a six-month internship, which will be advertised through Job Centre Plus.

The Corn Exchange in Newbury will host two internships – one in marketing, and another in the venue’s technical department – and Farnham Maltings will offer three intern places in its administration team.

Meanwhile, the Marlborough Theatre in Brighton will offer one internship in its press and marketing department, while the Sheringham Little Theatre in Norfolk will provide three positions across its technical, publicity and administration departments.

Gavin Stride, chair of House, said: “By providing paid work for young people we will be targeting the group hardest hit by the recession. If we fail to create paid work then not only we do we risk a generation being deterred from working in the sector, but we also lose nurturing the fresh, emerging talent which keeps the arts relevant.”
He added: “We want to shift the culture of recruitment within the arts sector to ensure that young people are given real, paid opportunities to work in theatre venues and that the experience they have gained will enable them to go on to long-term careers in the creative sector.”

Other venues offering internships are the Arts Centre in Letchworth, Brighton Dome and Festival, the Cornerstone in Didcot, Creative Arts East Live, Gulbenkian in Kent, the Hazlitt Arts Centre in Maidstone, and the South Street Arts Centre in Reading.

ACE announced the Creative Employment Programme last year, with the aim of subsidising up to 6,500 new apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships and paid internships across the arts and cultural sector for unemployed people aged 16 to 24