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Professional experience for under 18s


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I'm currently 16 (nearly 17) with a big passion for lighting and the entertainment industry. I participate with technical at my school and with a local amDram group, as well as community projects at my local big theatre. However, I would love to expand my experience and get a look in at the higher end of the industry with professionals. I had a brief period with a large rental house which was very useful, but I'm finding that many rental houses/production companies/designers won't take under 18s. Does anybody know of any companies or designers who would take on under 18s, with an existing solid understanding, for some voluntary work experience or even just as a hand for a one off show, preferably in the London/South East area?


Thanks in advance

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You sound like me when I was 15. I'm only 17 now like. Do what I did, bombard every theatre, hire company, crew company, rigging company with CV's and applications. Even if you only get a weeks work, it expands your CV and opens more doors. Best of luck mate.



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It really is luck. The really big issue for me is that I'd like to help, but just getting a working team together for the available budget is now very difficult, and having a 'passenger' can be quite dangerous when you are busy. With ten things to do immediately, and only 6 skilled people, the volunteer/experience person can easily be placed in danger.


As an example, a bar loaded with kit, gets a few items removed to be put on a different bar, but nobody spare to add remove counterweight, so it's sitting at stage level, in the way. Everyone is busy, apart (from the visiting people's perspective) one member of the team. "Can you fly that bar out please, I banged my head on it". Three possible answers:

1. No, sorry - I need to check with Fred, and he's outside at the moment.

2. OK - I'll do it (having seen a few people flipoff a brake and fly in/out other bars - simple!

3. I've never done that myself, but if you know how to do it, feel free.


Number 1 is the correct answer, 2 and 3 can be dangerous and expensive. Worse still is if the experience person gets hurt or causes injury to others, because the person who should have been supervising gets the blame.


Under 18s must be supervised, and who nowadays have enough crew to do this. You cannot do your normal job AND supervise somebody else and do it properly.


It would be great to have new people in like this, after all, they could be very useful - but there is no time or money to do it.

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HSE have just updated their guidance on work experience...


Simplified Young People guidance for employers


HSE have published revised guidance for employers with health and safety responsibilities for young people, and in particular those on work experience. The simplified guidance provides clarity, particularly in the areas of risk assessment and clearly sets out what work experience organisers do and do not need to do. There is a series of FAQs [...]


Click Here.

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