For theatre... online, non-professional, amateur
‘D’ is for Diversity (Your News)

‘D’ is for Diversity (Your News)

By Rhian Bennett

National Theatre backing national initiative to increase and diversify new talent in the creative industries

The National Theatre is one of over five hundred organisations that took part in Discover! Creative Careers Week towards the end of Nov, a national initiative backed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in England to encourage diverse new talent for the country’s booming creative industries.

The creative industries employ over three million people and the sector is growing three times faster than the rest of the UK economy. During Discover! Creative Careers Week, part of the Creative Careers Programme, employers opened their doors to 40,000 young people aged 11+ to inform and inspire them about the opportunities in the sector and encouraged people to take a career in the creative industries who may not have previously been aware of these opportunities.

The National Theatre welcomed 130 state secondary school students from across Greater London on Wed, 20 Nov to an action-packed day that shined a light on backstage and offstage roles to inspire the next generation of talent.

Students who took part in the NT’s Creative Careers Day took part in demonstrations, workshops and hands-on activities led by top industry professionals across lighting, sound, costume, stage management, prop-making and set design.

The day involved:

A stage management and technical demonstration on the set of The Antipodes in the Dorfman Theatre followed by a Q&A with the backstage team.
Practical workshops including creating set models with a designer, building sound boards with the NT’s Head of Sound, creating blood bags with the Wigs, Hair and Make-Up team and exploring VR and storytelling in the Immersive Storytelling Studio.

Opportunity for teachers and pupils to talk to current and former apprentices, technical staff and the NT Learning team about career routes and training opportunities.

Also during Discover! Creative Careers Week, ‘Make Theatre Days’ introduced local primary school pupils to theatre-making and the backstage world of the NT and 14-18-year-olds currently on the NT’s Young Technicians Programme learned about off-stage roles from top industry professionals through technical workshops and shadowing opportunities.

The NT also participated in industry careers fairs TheatreCraft and Skills London to talk directly with teachers, careers advisors and students about career routes and upcoming opportunities.
Rufus Norris, Director of the NT said, “As the National Theatre, we have a responsibility to do all we can to inspire new talent in theatre and across the arts sector. There are so many talented individuals across many different departments that are vital to the running of a theatre so by taking part in Discover! Creative Careers Week we hope to make careers in the creative sector more accessible to a wider range of people and keep inspiring the next generation of creative talent.”

Syeda Bukhari, former NT Prop Making Apprentice and current freelance prop maker said, “During my apprenticeship I learnt skills from metalwork and carpentry to sculpture, which has given me a strong foundation for my career. I knew I wanted to take on a more practical approach to learning rather than university, without the burden of student debt. I’d encourage every young person to consider an apprenticeship if you are looking to be a part of the creative industry. Nothing replaces the hands-on experience and real-life working environment an apprenticeship provides, not to mention the qualifications you gain along with it. No two days are ever the same in my job, and that’s what I love about it.”

Young people interested in finding out more about creative careers can visit Get into Theatre ( and Discover Creative Careers ( with current job and training vacancies, videos and advice.

The NT Apprenticeships scheme is currently running and will open for applications in 2020.

Work placements (please visit: are offered across a broad range of disciplines and departments and the Young People’s Programme ( includes workshops, practical training courses and events.