What it’s like to do a creative apprenticeship in live events
By Jake Giles-Phillips
What it’s like to do a creative apprenticeship in live events

Written by 2022's Content Creation Apprentice: Jacob Nuttall

Photo: Jacob interviewing our Account Manager Chris.“Jumping into the world of work feet first”, “Earning while you learn” and “Getting hands on experience” are the usual catchy lines you get told when you are leaving school, looking for more training in a certain field or when applying for apprenticeships. Of course all of these are correct but they don’t tell you what to expect or give any advice, meaning on your first day in your creative apprenticeship it can understandably be very daunting. This article should help to change that fear into excitement.

“What's the best way to learn? By doing the thing.”

When starting a new job or going into a new industry, especially the live events industry, it can seem like a massive hill you’ve got to climb but just remember everyone has to start somewhere and what's the best way to learn? By doing it and being hands on. Especially in an industry where a lot of the work can be on site building amazing events there is a lot you can get involved in without being that knowledgeable of the kit. Of course over time you will pick up knowledge from other people or that you will learn by yourself that will build your confidence in using the pro level high end kit.

“Get comfortable with what you don’t know.”

Following on from that you should learn to be comfortable with not knowing everything, be that the procedure or how to use certain kit. Remember in your creative apprenticeship you are new to the industry and there is a lot of kit and skills you will need to learn in live events so as long as you are keen and enthusiastic your knowledge will build and progress naturally. An extra tip to add is be confident both with the people around you and with your knowledge about the kit, if you don’t know something that’s ok but don’t try to hide it, for one it could be unsafe but two it allows you to be learn it again and you can now build your knowledge on that skill for next time.

As far as being confident with the people around you goes, it’s a great skill to have and will stop you thinking “I’m just the apprentice” and give you the chance to have your say in meetings and when preparing or building events. Often with live events whether on site or not some things can be last minute so having the ability to know your strengths allows the project manager to allocate his team right.

Use your managers… they are managers for a reason.

Whether you get along with your manager or not (but let’s hope you do) they are one of your most valuable resources and someone who will have a lot of knowledge. Once you start your new job it might take you a few weeks to settle down and build a positive and constructive relationship with your manager. Once this has been established you then have someone you are around a lot and who has been in the industry for a long time. This all means you get to ask questions! (and remember, in your creative apprenticeship no question is a stupid question). When starting out you can very easily feel like you are asking too many questions and being too much but how else are you going to learn? Just remember to always make your questions constructive and useful and there is a time and place for questions so probably not when everyone is very busy.

Remember to reflect.

Whether you are on a creative apprenticeship or are in a trainee role you are going to learn a lot over the year or two you are working. If you are an apprentice this might be through lessons or through training sessions at work and if you are a trainee this could be from the other techs around you but regardless once you have been taught the skill or piece of kit then you need to sit down and reflect on the learnings. This doesn’t have to be done for everything but a quick read over your notes after the session or lesson will become very handy in the future when you have to set up some kit or write some content. This can sometimes seem hard when there are a lot of jobs on but it only takes 10 mins and it will allow you to be more efficient in the future.

Hopefully this article has given you a bit more context to what to expect when becoming an apprentice or a trainee in live events, or just in general. PYTCH take on two work placements and an apprentice each year, along with work experience placements from schools. If you're interested in being considered for next year, keep an eye on our socials.