Getting a foot through the door

A group of dancers recreating a scene from Step Up 2
Photograph taken by Sean Goldthorpe

Clara Giraud muses on the notion of traineeships in the arts.

We’re on the lookout for the next Unlimited trainee – someone showing a real desire to build skills and a network in the arts sector, and enthusiasm and energy to bring to the wonderful complex programme that is Unlimited.

Traineeships are becoming a widespread entrance into working in the arts, and more and more organisations are creating opportunities to support the next generation of arts makers and managers.  By definition, the process should be practical, and allow the trainee to play a part in making things happen – but in fact they take many different forms.

After some time working as a performer, I kick-started my career change by supporting an independent artist in producing his work, and took up a 3 month part-time internship at Fuel.  The combination of the different contexts, colleagues, projects and tasks at hand meant that I received a really clear insight into the nature of producing, and became tooled up to go on and develop all sorts of exciting projects.  Combining working and learning environments meant I learned fast.  Most importantly, I built a network of co-workers, friends and acquaintances that gave me a grounded base from which to expand.  Networks are at the core of working in the arts, they give you people to turn to when in need, and create opportunities for amazing projects and collaborations to happen!

There are a whole range of traineeships available at the moment, in some really exciting organisations – not just with us. Here are a few we’ve come across:

  • Cardboard Citizens are looking for trainee facilitators, a great introduction to theatre and community projects, deadline 16 November
  • The Wordsworth Trust are offering a step in to working in museums, deadline 22 November
  • AV Festival have a vacancy for a trainee festival producer, a cross art-form experience, deadline 16 November
  • Serious Ltd are seeking a Production Apprentice to help out with their music projects, deadline 2 December
  • Birmingham Rep have a callout for an agent for change, deadline 7 December
  • LTC (London Theatre Consortium) have regular opportunities, it’s worth keeping an eye on their website

Last but not least, the Unlimited Traineeship.  It’s a great opportunity for someone to delve into arts management, giving a hands-on practice of artist liaison, event organizing, social media and marketing, evaluation to name a few.  As a programme supporting work by disabled artists, we are particularly encouraging applications from candidates that identify as disabled. The application process is open for applications until 7 December.

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Find out more about our traineeship