I’m Morgan, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s technical apprentice. As part of the apprenticeship, I also work for the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. I’ve been doing the work for three months now, and it’s great!
I work full-time, and I’m really enjoying the experience. When I saw that the company was looking for an apprentice, I decided to go for it – it’s an excellent opportunity – and I started work in October 2017.
Since the beginning of the apprenticeship, I’ve been doing loads of different jobs. One of the main things is to give a helping hand to the staff of the production department with any work that needs doing. Some days I’ll be working in the office, preparing different designs for various productions; at other times, I’ll be out in the ‘Shed’ preparing technical equipment for use in our own productions, or for people who hire equipment from us.
There’s a great atmosphere here at Y Llwyfan – the Theatr Genedlaethol team are close-knit and very hard-working. There are 12 of us working in Carmarthen, and we’re like one big family. Over the next year, the five other apprentices will be working closely with me – they’re based at Theatr Clwyd, Mold, and the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.
The apprenticeship is run by the Wales Millennium Centre and the Cardiff and Vale College. The course is a year in length, very useful, and offers a great opportunity to individuals who would like to work in the field of theatre.
If I’m successful, I’ll gain good qualifications to enable me to apply for any post involving backstage work. I’m currently working on a portfolio for a Level 3 Certificate in lighting, sound and stage work. In addition, we’re working towards gaining the ‘ABBT Bronze award safety certificate’ qualification. Both courses are excellent, and studying them as part of an apprenticeship is great.
In my opinion, this is a wonderful opportunity to develop as a professional worker. It’s the only course of its type in Wales. These days, there is a great demand for backstage technicians and there are not enough of them.
Within the technical field, there is a great shortage of workers who are Welsh-speakers and have been trained in backstage work. Working with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru is a wonderful way of achieving this, and it would be good to see more people following the course through the medium of Welsh.