Birmingham Repertory Theatre is joining forces with a homelessness charity to form a new backstage training scheme.
The venue will work with St Basils, a West Midlands youth charity that supports employment opportunities for young homeless people, aged between 16 and 25.
The initiative, Beginning Backstage, will offer young people the opportunity to develop technical skills in lighting, sound and stage management at the theatre.
St Basils chief executive Jean Templeton said: “We are excited about working with the Rep on developing Beginning Backstage, which will engage our young people, allowing them to feel valued, cared for and invested in as well as helping them develop the skills to move forward and into employment.”
To raise funds for the scheme, Birmingham Rep is taking part in the national fundraising event Big Give Christmas Challenge.
The fundraising target for the scheme is £5,100, which will be matched through the Big Give Christmas Challenge by donations from local businesses and individuals.
The theatre’s director of learning and participation, Alex Summers, said: “Beginning Backstage is a potentially life-changing opportunity that will offer young people the chance to forge lasting friendships, grow in confidence and gain vital skills for the workplace.
“The Rep hopes it will raise participants’ aspirations and lead to other opportunities such as further training or employment.
“It will only happen if enough people are generous and donate during the Big Give Christmas Challenge.”
It is hoped the scheme will be rolled out in 2020.