In September 2017, The Old Vic announced HRH The Prince of Wales as the Royal Patron to mark the theatre’s 200th birthday. The Old Vic is passionate about supporting young people from various backgrounds and building a route for them into a career in the creative industries. 

As such, it committed to delivering four work placements a year for young people through Get Hired events in London. The aims of the organisation reflect inclusiveness and diversity, which aligns well with the work of The Prince’s Trust.

The Old Vic Executive Director, Kate Varah said:

Creativity, confidence, perseverance, problem solving, are all skills we impart on young people that take part in our employability programmes.

Staff from The Old Vic attended their first Get Hired day in October 2017 at Prince’s Trust House. The staff were really impressed with the calibre of candidates they interviewed and highlighted the benefit of the event’s fast-paced nature to remove the element of formal introduction, which can be daunting for many young people.

Naomi said: “You meet such a variety of young people. The face to face element is really brilliant. You get a snapshot of what their interests are.”

Since then, the organisation successfully filled three work placements through the Get Hired events, and went the extra mile to recruit two more young people to participate in its Front Line scheme, which offers paid placements with its Front of House team. Young people complete an induction and a tour of the theatre. They work on building their communication and teamwork skills. The placement then ends with an evaluation and a CV skills session to boost their employability.

Naomi Lawson, Young Person’s Programme Manager at The Old Vic has been supervising some of the young people throughout their placements. 

Naomi said:

Through progressing candidates to their second interviews after the event, I was so impressed with how the young people were happy to try new challenges and were motivated to try their best and get the most they could out of the experience.

One of the young people who had completed a work placement was Raymond, aged 26 from Lambeth in South London, who gained exposure to the creative industry and learnt more about the job roles available. Raymond said:

“Although my knowledge of The Old Vic was limited, I was intrigued to find out more about working within such an iconic organisation.”

“During my time with the Education and Community team, I was privileged to learn more about how this significant strand of the theatre operates. I was thrown into the deep end, getting involved helping with projects. ” 

Hyo, aged 21 from Hillingdon in West London, also completed a work placement. He added:

One of the highlights was spending time at the press night for a production at The Old Vic. This experience really helped me with my administrative skills and communication as well being a huge boost to my confidence.

Naomi continues, ‘The young people we met at Get Hired brought great curiosity to the role. They were in a world they didn’t know much about but asked great questions. The young people were alert and absorbed as much information as they could about the different departments within a theatre.”

Those who have completed their placements have been welcomed as part of The Old Vic family. The Old Vic is excited to return to future Get Hired events where it hopes to offer more paid, front of house positions to young people. The theatre recommends the event as a fantastic platform for any employer as they can meet a host of young people from different backgrounds.