White Light Takes On New Apprentice Cohort

White Light has recently taken on its latest batch of apprentices; following a year in which the company received two separate awards for its apprenticeship scheme.


As a company, WL is passionate about developing the next generation of talent. Since 2011, WL has overseen 57 apprenticeships, with all of those who have completed the course going on to work in the industry. The company has recently taken on four brand-new apprentices: George Ploog, Azaldean Mohammed, Charlie Russell-Teare and Jack Bass. All four started last month and will be undertaking the Creative Venue Technician Standard which WL helped create as a member of the trailblazer group.  


WL’s Health & Safety and Workforce Development Director Chris Nicholls comments: “We’re really excited by this latest cohort. They’re a great bunch who all embody the WL values and have a strong desire to learn. They are also slightly older than previous cohorts as we are now able to offer apprenticeships to  people over 25. This means more opportunities for a wider group of people; something we’ve been able to offer for the first time this year”.


The apprentices all came through via the annual Recruitment Day, during which time they met the WL team, spoke with the various technicians and underwent a range of practical tests. Following this, Chris and his team decided on the four most suitable candidates. All four have already been inducted by the National College of Creative Industries and started their rotations in WL’s technical workshops, as well as undergoing Manual Handling training. Over the next 18 months, they will continue to rotate through the company’s various departments and in its managed venues as well as working on-site on a range of different projects, before conducting their end point assessment. 


One of this year’s successful candidates actually heard

about the apprenticeship through another development scheme that WL supports.

Chris explains: “Azaldean took part in the Kiln

Theatre’s Production Arts Course which aims to diversify backstage roles in

theatre. Our Managing Director Bryan Raven was heavily involved in the scheme,

giving talks and presentations as well as offering a tour of WL. One of those

who attended that tour was Azaldean who subsequently applied for the



Azaldean comments: “I had been looking for a way to enter

the industry for about a year now. The main thing for me is that I want to be

gaining practical experience while learning. So when I heard Bryan talk about

the apprenticeship, I just applied and was fortunate enough to be selected”.


In a similar vein, Charlie undertook work experience at WL’s

warehouse, which encouraged him to apply for the apprenticeship. He comments:

“I was always interested in lighting but wasn’t aware you could get any

official qualifications. My dad told me about WL so I applied to do some work

experience. Once I was there, I heard about the apprenticeship and decided to

just go for it”.


Chris adds: “As a company, it’s not just about people coming through via the ‘traditional’ routes – it’s about us ensuring the right candidates receive the right opportunities they need to flourish”.


This year’s four apprentices follow in the footsteps of the 2018 cohort who have almost completed their 18 months’ worth of training and are busy putting their developed skills to practice. Chris explains: “In terms of the previous group, Alfie and Sophie have now completed their placements. Sophie spent time at the Roundhouse and Alfie worked on The Crown for Netflix where he experienced life as part of a television production team.  Dan has begun a month at the London Coliseum and Nathan will soon be at the Hornchurch Theatre in Essex whilst they gear up for panto season”.


This year marks a particularly significant one for WL’s apprentice scheme. Not only did the company win Employer of the Year at the Creative and Cultural Skills Awards but also won the Merton Best Business Awards Apprentice of the Year Award for Dominic Devereux. The cohort that Dominic was a part of (2017) are all still working at the company, in a variety of roles from Site Technician to Production Coordinator.


Chris concludes: “Our apprentice scheme has two aims: to

equip the next generation with the practical skills they need as well as ensure

they have a prospective career path by the time they leave. The fact that 8% of

our current workforce consists of previous apprentices shows just how successful

the scheme is and how the programme allows them to progress within the

industry. We are really excited to be working with the latest intake and seeing

where their apprenticeships take them”.