APPRENTICES and university students are getting their first steps on the career ladder, thanks to the Kings Theatre.
The Southsea venue gives a helping hand to those with any background, not just a theatrical one.
Currently they have placements in marketing, accounts, IT and education.
The jobs are hands-on and those with placements have a high level of responsibility – it’s not just making the tea.
The theatre’s managing director David Cooper, said: ‘From our point of view, we want to support young people.
‘I had the same problem other people have – I came out of college and had to start at the bottom because I had no experience.
‘These placements are all about giving them real experience.
‘I think we’re now six for six in terms of people who have had placements here getting jobs afterwards.’
Ed Butcher, 19, and Antonia Furze, 18, both secured their apprenticeships with the theatre through the PETA training centre.
Antonia, who works in the finance office, said: ‘I had a couple of rubbish jobs, so I thought an apprenticeship was the way forward, really.
‘I’ve learned lots since I’ve been here and have quite a lot of responsibility.’
Ed, who looks after the IT systems, added: ‘It’s lots of fun, lots to learn and I’m having to think on my feet for the first time.’
Student Chloe Clark, 20, is in the marketing department while completing her business degree at the University of Portsmouth.
And Oliver Laurenson-Gore, 23, did his placement at the Kings and now has a full-time job there as education co-ordinator.
He said: ‘I’m now running the department, looking after the finances, and I am actually taking on seven new interns to work at the theatre – just like I did.’