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Apprenticeships at the National Theatre

Man in NT scenic art workshop

Apprenticeships at the National Theatre

The National Theatre launched its Apprenticeships Scheme in 2012. Over this time, 42 young people have been taken on board as apprentices in 16 different departments across the NT including Technical, Costume, Wigs, Hair & Make-up and Props as well as Finance, IT and Marketing.

The scheme aims to open up creative careers and opportunities to young people who might not have otherwise considered a career in the creative industry or be aware of the multitude of roles involved in theatre. We actively look for people of all backgrounds who can bring their unique experiences, talents and skills to the industry and beyond.

The Apprenticeships Scheme provides the opportunity to learn key skills and gain practical experience for a creative career, as well as transferable skills relevant to any future career path. The apprenticeship involves study for a level 2 or 3 qualification alongside an opportunity to put lessons into practise and work alongside some of the best practitioners in the UK.  All are supported by mentors from their department and from the wider NT community, and regularly work together on a specifically designed TheatreWorks programme to develop key skills to improve employability and confidence.

Our apprentices are embedded in the day-to-day existence of the National Theatre and have been involved in key moments on stage and beyond, from operating the Drum Revolve and creating props such as blood bags and exploding cakes for shows, to working on Galas and Learning events with young people, creating brochures and meeting the Queen.

We have been working closely with our current cohort of apprentices and recent graduates while the National Theatre has been closed to provide ongoing mentoring, support and learning opportunities. Our apprentices’ experiences have allowed them to develop resilience, flexibility and resourcefulness to adapt to new situations. Many played an instrumental role in supporting the NT to re-open during summer 2020, from working backstage on shows to creating new seating banks in the Olivier Theatre.


Alongside this scheme, the NT provides many opportunities for young people to learn about creative roles and learn from top industry professionals including the Young Technicians and How to be a Producer programmes which are being run virtually with young people across the UK.

“It has been a pleasure to help the NT be as safe as possible in such unique times. It is one of my greatest achievements at the NT so far to be able to help in the creation of the seating bank to transform the Olivier Theatre into the round for a socially distanced audience." - Peter Nehemiah Scott, Scenic Art Apprentice

“Since I finished my apprenticeship, I have worked on so many amazing projects and in a great deal of theatres. I’ve taken shows to New York, Edinburgh Festival, have worked in the West End and done community theatre projects. I love what the National Theatre do and coming back and helping to guide the new apprentices has been such an amazing experience, and I hope I can impart some of what I learnt to them and help them realise their next step, in theatre or beyond”. - Nell Allan, 2012 Apprentice 




National Theatre Apprenticeships are supported by The Schroder Foundation, Marcia B. Whitaker, The Radcliffe Trust, and The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation.