Exhibitor News


A Year of Creating Dream Careers

The National College Creative Industries in Thurrock is celebrating a year of helping young people achieve their dream careers.

The College opened its doors in September 2016. It has already seen its first graduates move into paid employment in a variety of roles such as costume assistant in West End theatre productions and production assistant at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, while other students are in their final stage interviews in production assistant roles at Channel 4.

The College was set up by employers including the BBC, Royal Opera House, National Theatre, White Light and Live Nation, and provides hands-on experience through work placements and state-of-the-art facilities. The National College has been set up to ensure a steady flow of highly qualified new recruits to this rapidly growing sector, which accounts for 9% of all jobs in the UK and contributes £84.1bn  to the economy.

Students at the College can get a head start on their dream careers by going on tour with Olivier Award-winning producers and working behind the scenes of major events with big-name performers, such as four-time Brit Award winner Emeli Sande.

The National College is based in the state-of-the-art facilities at The Backstage Centre, in Thurrock, Essex. Recent hires include Disclosure, Rudimental, Rod Stewart, Darren Brown and Channel 4.

Jane Button, Principal of the National College Creative Industries, said:

“Our industry is always looking for resilient, independent, curious and hard-working people.  Our graduates get a solid grounding in practical hands-on skills that ensure that they can hit the ground running in the workplace. Our network of employers are keen to take them on board as they know they have the necessary practical experience here at the National College.”

Recent graduate Hannah Dunmow, 19, from Fobbing, Essex, completed her Level 4 Diploma at the National College in July 2017. Now, she’s working in her dream role as a rigger and automation operator for White Light, a leading Lighting and Audio-Visual supplier for the live events and entertainment industry.

She says:

“From day one, I was getting hands-on with high-end backstage equipment that’s usually reserved for big theatres and venues.

“Two months after starting, I had the opportunity to work backstage with singer Emeli Sandé on her tour. Later on, I completed a one-month work placement with White Light.

“Learning directly from experienced riggers and automation operators is a big part of the course. Working alongside the automation programmer for The Red Shoes, a production by award-winning choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne, was an invaluable experience that is on my CV forever.”

One year since its opening, the National College Creative Industries is going from strength to strength. Its proximity to London – just 30 minutes’ journey time - is key to attracting both students and big-name partner employers.

Professional Technical & Production graduate Chileleko Osaszuwa from East London found the college’s location a major advantage:

“I chose to study here because I believe that it will give me access to the creative industry. Working with KT Tunstall, Steve Harley and Ricky Wilson was such an experience. I now have those credits on my CV.”

Enrolment opened at the National College on 24th August. The National College offers careers advice and guidance for students seeking an alternative to ‘A’ Levels or University and  want to take advantage of learning from the best in the industry.

Jane concludes:

Within a year students will have opportunities to work with high profile employers such as the BBC, Royal Opera House, White Light, Live Nation, National Theatre, and the Roundhouse, to name but a few.

“Our first year has been fantastic and now we want a new cohort of students to build on this success – we’re working closely with even more employers in the industry to offer the relevant industry placements that we pride ourselves upon.”

To find out more about a range of technical courses preparing graduates for careers in the UK creative economy’s 2.9 million jobs, visit www.creativeindustries.ac.uk for more information on National College Creative Industries, courses and enrolment.



Sunday 16 September
10am - 6pm
Monday 17 September
10am - late
Tuesday 18 September
10am - 4pm