Exploring career options: a parent's view

Our video looks at the breadth of apprenticeships available with a surprising employer

27 October 2014 / Jump to comment (1)

What goes into the making of a world-class opera or ballet? Well-practiced singers, a hard-working orchestra, choreography ... it's easy to reel off a list of the artists and performers involved. But who works behind the scenes?

The Royal Opera House runs a thriving apprenticeship scheme, employing apprentices in a range of disciplines from carpentry to managing exhibitions, from costume-making to metalwork.

We took blogger and mum Amy Treasure to the Royal Opera House to meet apprentices and their mentors. From a parents' perspective, she explores what an apprenticeship can do in terms of kick-starting a career, and for a young person's confidence. Amy learns that valuable hands-on work experience and a recognised qualification will provide an excellent springboard into a strong career for the apprentices she meets.

Find out more about the apprenticeships City & Guilds offers

What do parents really know about education and careers? We surveyed over 3,500 parents to find out - our infographic rounds up the results.

Comments 1 Comment


08 November 2014

The topic of mentoring/apprenticeship has been conmig up a bit lately in nonprofit circles (see , for example) and one that I'm really glad to see being brought to the forefront--thanks for blogging about this. I agree 100% that apprenticeships are a wonderful way to both get your foot in the door and gain experience, and I hope that museums (will) see that this process benefits them as well. Often I hear museum staff complain that they don't have the time to babysit an intern. This points directly to the problem that you describe regarding internships: the purpose is to expose the intern to the workings of the museum and then they go away--there is little reason for the museum to actually invest time or effort into these people.But with an apprentice, the value is obvious: you are carefully crafting someone to be a useful member of your team.When I was fresh out of college, I wrote to a then-new curator at the local art museum, introducing myself and explaining why I wanted to work with him--for free--and why he should want to take me on and train me. He agreed, on the condition that someday in the future, I would similarly take people on.I'd like to think that I've treated the interns I have had over the years more as apprentices than as interns. I've gone out of my way to include them in daily activities, working with them side-by-side and often giving them "juicy" stuff to do while I did drudgery, and giving them increasing responsibility and in some cases autonomy. In one case, the result was that when I left my position, there was someone ready and already completely trained to fill the void.Still, I wonder how many museums are willing to embrace the idea of apprenticeships? With so many people in the museum field and so few jobs, I have found that a lot of museum staff members just aren't willing to give up their secrets enough to really share with an apprentice.

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