Image 2 (2)A group of North East creative companies have pledged to back apprenticeships in partnership with Gateshead College.


Newcastle quayside-based businesses Live Theatre and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, together with Durham-based Beamish Museum, are partnering with the college to provide programmes to develop young careers in the creative and artistic sectors.


Former Gateshead College student Matthew Henderson secured a permanent job role after completing his apprenticeship with Beamish Museum.


The 20 year-old, from Witton-le-Wear in County Durham, has also been named Visit County Durham’s ‘Tourism Superstar’ thanks to his hard work at Beamish. He is now through to the national final of VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar award.


Celyn Williams, people development officer at Beamish Museum, said: “Matthew has become a key member of our team thanks to the skills and work experience gained on his apprenticeship.


“We have seen him grow and develop whilst providing us with fantastic support on a variety of projects throughout his training programme. He has come a long way and we look forward to continuing to work with him throughout his new career here.”

Matthew, who is now engagement and participation team assistant, said: “The best thing about apprenticeships is that you learn practical work skills whilst earning too.


“My apprenticeship proves that training schemes like this aren’t exclusive to certain sectors, and that so many opportunities for young people to enter a career they enjoy are now available.”


He studied a Level 3 live events and promotions apprenticeship and has since excelled at a number of tasks during his career, including events management, community engagement and marketing.


Another successful apprenticeship scheme has seen local theatre company Live Theatre team-up with Gateshead College to provide an apprenticeship for a new generation of creative talent keen to learn back stage skills.


Craig Spence has been taken on as a technical apprentice, a back-stage role which will see him develop the skills for a career in theatre sound and lighting.


The apprenticeship, which consists of classroom studies at college and work at Live Theatre, will lead to him to gaining the theoretical industry knowledge, as well as practical experience at the hands of one of the country’s leading new writing theatres.


This is the latest success for the partnership that saw Gateshead College and Live Theatre pioneer its first Level 3 BTEC in Stage and Media Production programme in 2011.


Craig Spence from Killingworth became a committed and valued member of the team after beating several other candidates to the apprentice role.


He completed the BTEC programme before undertaking his apprenticeship, which will also involve studying principles of the creative and cultural industry at the college.


BALTIC also gained a skilled employee thanks to the apprenticeship scheme.


Twenty-year-old Beth Mann, from Durham, secured a permanent position following a successful stint as the BALTIC’s first arts administration apprentice delivered in conjunction with Gateshead College.


After seeing the impact Beth made as a human resources assistant, the arts’ centre continues to see the benefits of its partnership with Gateshead College and is currently recruiting for its third apprentice.


Gateshead College’s Chris Toon, who is deputy principal, said: “These apprenticeships reinforce our dedication to providing lasting and enjoyable careers to students who are interested in the creative and artistic industries.


“We provide the best training and opportunities for students to develop their working skills whilst learning and earning a wage at the same time. We also ensure students have the best career prospects at the end of their apprenticeship and pledge to support them throughout.”