Apprentices take a creative route to work under scheme

SUFFOLK’S first creative apprentices are being given on-the-job experience at arts organisations around the county.

Kirsty McCullough, 22, who has started a creative apprenticeship at Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery, is one of seven to start in January under the county’s first ever Creative Apprenticeship scheme.

The apprentices have joined seven leading arts organisations in Suffolk to learn about the creative industry from the inside.

The scheme is organised by a partnership of Suffolk County Council, Arts Council England, East, City College Norwich and the seven arts organisations - Aldeburgh Music, Bury St Edmunds Arts Gallery, DanceEast, Eastern Angles Theatre Company, Suffolk ArtLink, New Wolsey Theatre, and Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds - take on apprentices to learn about the industry from the inside.

The scheme runs for 12 months and culminates in a nationally recognised arts qualification. Ms McCullough said she has enjoyed every moment since she joined the gallery.

She was thrown in at the deep end, with the frantic activity of setting up the Gallery’s current exhibition, ‘Verb; to read and write.’.

She has been amazed at the variety of work in a busy art gallery. “My goal is become a curator, and helping curators every day is a great way to learn,” she said.

Most Read

It is hoped the scheme will provide an opportunity for those seeking jobs at venues such as art galleries to realise their dreams. The apprenticeships are seen as an alternative route into the creative industry to the increasingly competitive academic route through further education, at a time when university places are likely to be in short supply. Organisers described is as “a wonderful opportunity”.