Culture venues in Milton Keynes welcome new faces to mark National Apprenticeship Week
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The initiative, marked National Apprenticeship Week, was funded by MK City Council’s £3.5m Economic Recovery Plan which invited cultural organisations to apply for a grant to employ apprentices. MK Gallery, Bletchley Park and Milton Keynes Theatre were all successful in their bids and have since recruited an apprentice each.
The apprentices are benefiting from more than 1,400 hours of work experience each across 15 months with their employer. All three apprentices will receive online specialist training from leading provider of creative apprenticeships, Creative Alliance while also learning on the job from industry experts.
Joshua Yon has joined MK Gallery as digital marketer. Born in Zimbabwe to a musical family, Joshua first moved to Milton Keynes at age 10 and has been involved in various creative and cultural events such as the MK: International Festival, taking on various roles from photographer to performing musician.
He said: “I really appreciate the opportunity to be able to work and learn from MK Gallery. I've visited the Gallery so many times and always enjoyed their work and events, so for me to be behind the scenes and contributing to those experiences is really a privilege.”
Remi Ajibola, joined MK Theatre as Cultural Learning and Participation Officer. Remi is an outspoken activist at heart, having engaged in programmes with groups like the Fair Education Alliance, giving a speech at the National Gallery on educational inequality and actively advocating within their poetry.
He said: “I'm really excited to explore a field I have a genuine interest in. It’s been amazing so far, such a supportive environment and team. Looking forward to everything I have yet to learn and build.”
Evie Spillings, joined Bletchley Park as Events Assistant at Bletchley Park. Evie recently completed her A levels at Ousedale Sixth Form in Newport Pagnell where she planned the sixth form prom alongside one of her best friends. This motivated her to choose an apprenticeship where she can integrate personal experience and academic knowledge from her events course into practical, real-world applications.
Evie Said: “Being a lifelong resident of Milton Keynes, I am enthusiastic about continuing my journey here, signifying my dedication to ongoing education and the value of acquiring practical skills in a professional environment. Bletchley Park's rich history and its current role as a cultural and heritage venue add an extra layer of excitement to my journey.”
Cllr Shanika Mahendran, Cabinet Member responsible for Culture, added: “It’s so inspiring to see young people with such passion for culture. We’re really proud to be sponsoring these apprenticeships which will give Joshua, Remi and Evie brilliant opportunities.”
Apprentice Recruitment Manager for AHA-MK, Jane Wright, said: “Creative Alliance is thrilled to announce our partnership with Milton Keynes City Council and the Arts and Heritage Alliance MK (AHA-MK). Together, we're launching a pilot scheme that has placed three talented apprentices in three cultural venues in Milton Keynes, namely MK Gallery, Milton Keynes Theatre and Bletchley Park. This collaboration wouldn't have been possible without the support of MK City Council. We're ready to empower the next generation of creative talent in the heart of Milton Keynes.”