Apprentices gain work experience at One Direction gig

Three Barnsley College Technical Theatre apprentices have been undertaking work experience at a handful of high-profile shows hosted at Sheffield Arena including boyband phenomenon, One Direction.

Danielle Utley, 17, Dylan Greene, 19 and James Skiffington, 20, were first offered the opportunity to carry out work experience for the Backstage Academy, an organisation specialising in degree courses for the live events industry, after networking with a former student who had studied there.

Covering a range of duties from helping to build the main stage, stage management and overseeing the running of the lighting and sound, the apprentices have gained hands-on experience and have been recognised by some of the top production managers in the industry.

The trio wish to progress into Higher Education with the Academy once they have completed their qualifications at Barnsley College with the help of their impressive work experience log.

Danielle, Dylan and James have all been asked to work during live events for popular acts such as Take That, Florence and the Machine, The Prodigy, The Libertines, The Cribs and most recently, Mumford and Sons.

Former Shafton ALC pupil, Dylan, said: “I have always loved music and getting involved in live events so choosing to apply for a Technical Theatre Production apprenticeship at Barnsley College was an easy decision to make. We are always working to tight deadlines and the work we undertake is very rewarding when we see the end result. Staff at the college are always pushing us to reach our full potential which has inspired us to aim higher and study towards a Live Events Production degree at Backstage Academy.”

Music, Media and Performance Senior Assessor at Barnsley College, Thomas Flanagan, oversees the work of the apprentices. He added: “We try to prepare our apprentices for the workplace by replicating real-life industry environments. Our Electric Theatre Company host a series of performances throughout the year where apprentices can gain experience in lighting, sound and stage management and work to authentic external deadlines.”

For more information on our Apprenticeship programmes please call the Employer Response Unit on +44 (0)1226 216 166 or email

Last updated: 27th November 2015

Originally posted on: 27th November 2015