Stage One

Jack in Woodshop

Being a Stage One Apprentice

Think ‘apprentice’ and what images spring to mind? No doubt it’s a young person, fresh from school, who’s learning a trade and probably goes to college for a day each week. Well, that’s mostly correct. But it’s not the whole story. Yes, it’s about training a new generation and yes, it’s about learning a trade or profession, but the bit about a young person or straight from school…? Not necessarily. There are apprenticeship training programmes for just about anyone and these can provide the means to start and develop a career path, or further develop an existing one. Apprenticeships go from Level 2 to degree level and include everything in between.

Here at Stage One, we offer apprenticeships across most of our departments. In fact, any department has the potential to run an apprenticeship. Here’s what our HR Manager, Ruth Axall had to say:

“When we take on apprentices, we really want to keep them! The nature of our work means we rely heavily on internally nurtured talent and apprenticeships are an ideal way to deliver this. We’re not your run of the mill company and our apprenticeships reflect that – we really offer something different!”

You may have already seen our apprenticeships video across our various social media accounts. If not, you can watch it below. It’s both interesting and hugely gratifying to hear our apprentices sum up in their own words about what it’s like to train and work here at Stage One. Our work is anything but ordinary and we know that conversely, what we need when it comes to skills and work ethos is a little bit different from the norm.

Working in the creative industries and the multi-disciplinary nature of our workshops mean our apprentices are exposed to a very different way of doing things. For a start, no two projects are ever the same. In fact, we never know what we’ll be asked to build next so dealing with unpredictability and being able to adapt and apply their skills in unusual ways is all part of the job.

As a company, we’re driven by teamwork. It’s central to our ethos. The flow and pace of work in our hangars can change abruptly as a last-minute project comes in for a client who’s up against a challenging timescale. Teamwork enables us to meet these challenges and is crucial to the everyday functioning of each department. From the off, our apprentices are very much part of the team.

With many disciplines contributing to our projects, our apprentices will often find they have to work collaboratively with other departments. This is extremely valuable experience. It expands their learning and understanding not only of their own trade and skills, but of other departments too. We believe this experience is pretty much unique to Stage One. Where else would you find a metalwork apprentice liaising with and planning their work alongside a scenic artist, joiner, electrical engineer, 5 Axis CNC operator or a 3d print technician?

Some of our apprentices have already been on site, helping with the installation of projects across Europe and beyond. Working on site brings different challenges and it’s great to see them adapting, applying their skills in a new environment and generally being extraordinarily helpful!

Back to Ruth:

“We’re incredibly proud of our apprentices. Our business is very much about the people, relationships and trust that allow us to deliver fantastic creative projects on a world stage. I hope they realise how important they are to the team. They’re our future and they’re helping ensure Stage One continues to flourish for years to come.”

Rebecca Paintshop

As a final word and just to prove the point, we’d like to congratulate Wood Shop apprentice Jacob Cockeram on his success in the Carpenter’s Craft competition, where he won the under 21’s category! You can read more about his achievement on the York College website.

You never know where an apprenticeship might lead you!

If you’re interested in applying for an apprenticeship here at Stage One, please keep an eye on our vacancies page or contact York College.

Author: Emma Tinsley