As one of the UK’s most iconic and celebrated arts venues, part of our success story is down to our commitment to giving people the opportunity to develop and thrive.
We do this by supporting emerging Welsh talent with life-changing learning experiences, practical workshops and technical apprenticeships.
Our 2023/24 scheme has an intake of ten apprentices, who will be working with Wales Millennium Centre in collaboration with -
Aberystwyth Arts Centre,
Arad Goch (Aberystwyth)
ICC Wales (Newport)
Theatr Clwyd (Mold)
Theatrau Sir Gar (Carmarthen)
Venue Cymru (Llandudno)
Welsh National Opera (Cardiff)
Recent collaborators include Theatr Brycheiniog (Brecon).
Applications for our 2024/25 intake will open this summer.
More information about our technical apprentice scheme can be found below.
(The class of 2024 setting up for Max Boyce's 50th anniversary show, preparing our iconic silver dragon, in October 2023.)
Apprentices will receive one year of full-time, paid, employment. They will benefit from an array of personal and professional skills with increased confidence and self-belief. To secure their future career in the arts, we will support the connections made throughout the 12-months and provide valuable resources in order to thrive within the sector after their placement.
Backstage theatre technicians play a vital role in delivering live performances, ensuring each production is produced to the highest possible standard. This benefits every venue, the production company and most crucially, the paying audience.
Watch previous apprentice Bethany talk about their experience taking part in the scheme.
Our Technical Apprenticeship scheme
This scheme is in response to a UK-wide shortage of qualified theatre technicians because the future of the arts in depends on the training and experience of the next generation of technicians.
Our programme is unique, as it offers participants the opportunity to get a year of hands-on backstage experience in one of the busiest venues in Britain. Not only that, but we also offer placements at regional partner organisations across Wales, nurturing them for the professional workplace and performing high quality theatre practice.
Apprentices will work on exciting, world-class productions from traditional large-scale operas like the Welsh National Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro, to iconic contemporary West-End musicals like Disney’s The Lion King, to Matthew Bourne’s stunning interpretation of The Red Shoes, or to The National Theatre’s trailblazing production of War Horse.
The Technical Apprentice Scheme makes a real difference to individuals over the course of a year. Upon completion, apprentices gain the accreditation and qualifications necessary to having a career in technical theatre.
The scheme is run in conjunction with Cardiff & Vale College, where individuals will gain a Level 3 certification in Technical Theatre: Stage and they will also obtain the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) Bronze Award focussing on flying practice, ropes & knots, and electrical care.
We also offer certification in Rigging, PAT Testing and IPAF training. For any apprentices who lack GCSEs in English or Maths, there is also training and a qualification in basic numeracy and literacy available.
This is a well-rounded, work-based learning experience. Our objective is simple, to foster young practitioners with a passion for the live arts gaining the necessary skills and attitude needed to excel in a career in backstage theatre, benefiting the cultural sector across Wales and beyond.
Apprentices will receive one year of full-time, paid, employment. They will benefit from an array of personal and professional skills (collaboration, communications, independence, and accountability) with increased confidence and self-belief.
To secure their future career in the arts, we will support the connections made throughout the 12-months and provide valuable resources in order to thrive within the sector after their placement.
Things to consider
Successful applicants will be offered a full-time (35-hour) 12-month fixed term contract.
The working hours of a Theatre Technician vary from week-to-week, it really depends on the demands of the production they are working on.
*This is not a 9am - 5pm role. One week you could be doing maintenance, a different one-nighter every evening the next and then nine shows of the same production the week after.
Technicians frequently work late into the night including some overnight shifts for get outs (productions packing up and leaving).
*We encourage applicants to really think hard about whether this type of work is suitable for them as friends and family will often work completely different hours which can affect your social life.
Getting to work
Like any role, you need to think about getting to and from work. Wales Millennium Centre is situated at the heart of Cardiff Bay, easily accessible by car and public transport during traditional working hours.
However, if you're working late into the night and relying on public transport, you'll need to plan how you travel. You'll also need to consider how long it will take as well as how much it will cost you.
We don't recommend taking long and costly commutes to avoid additional pressure or cycling, especially if at night.
In addition to your role, you will also need to complete some practical assessments which are essential to the apprenticeship. You cannot complete the apprenticeship and gain certification without them.
We expect you to be fully committed to every aspect of the programme, show willing at all tasks and to manage your deadlines. Failure is all part of the learning process but it's how you react to that which is important, but rest assured - you will have a strong support network behind you.