Work Placement Becomes a Valuable Member of The Civic Team

Since opening as Barnsley’s independent multi-purpose arts venue in 2009, The Civic has been providing South Yorkshire with a diverse programme of events and exhibitions, creative opportunities for artists and extra-ordinary experiences for visitors.

The Civic are also passionate about supporting work placements, to further the skills and employability of those who wish to work in the competitive arts industry. In an age of high unemployment rates and demanding expectations of employers, The Civic strives to provide flexible work experience opportunities to support and develop individuals and the operation of the organisation as a whole.

Our latest placement is an undergraduate from the University of Chester – Emily Ritchie. The 20-year-old Events Management student and member of the Barnsley Youth Choir, was put in touch with The Civic’s CEO Helen Ball through a friend. Emily explains; Helen then got in touch and through a couple of meetings we sorted out a programme that covered University requirements, what I wanted to do and what The Civic could facilitate. Helen has created a programme specifically for me, something which I know is rare in work placements. It was the only placement opportunity that I had seen that interested me and thought would be beneficial to me and my degree.”

Picture of Emily Ritchie at the Civic, Barnsley
Emily Ritchie

Since Emily’s work placement began on 15 September 2014, she has been putting her academic learning into practice and has become a valued member of the team. Working alongside Helen Ball, Emily has attended key partnership meetings, planned a series of events and is conducting research on behalf of The Civic and as a starting point to her dissertation. Emily has also gained essential events management skills in assisting the Operations and Marketing teams; shadowing management, working front of house for performances, private and corporate functions, undertaking administrative tasks, and distributing promotional material. Emily comments that she has enjoyed “learning from the staff who have passed on their experiences within events and the arts, and gaining practical experience in areas that aren’t necessarily going to be covered on my course”.

Working within an independent and charitable arts organisation, Emily’s career ambitions have also been defined: “I would like to work on the fundraising side of events and corporate hospitality within the arts and working at The Civic has helped me to determine this. I have been able to see first-hand how the arts and events industry is directly affected by reduced funding and changes in government priorities. Having grown up with a love of the arts, I would hate to think that one day it wasn’t as accessible for someone else to enjoy as much as it was for me.” Emily continues; “I would encourage anyone who is wanting to work in the arts to take advantage of the placements available in industry. My time at The Civic so far has proved so invaluable and has provided me with work experience that I would have had to try and gain after university.”

Helen Ball, Chief Executive comments:

“It has been a pleasure having Emily with us on placement so far. I have been very impressed with how quickly she has settled in and understood our systems and processes. She has become a much valued member of the team already and I hope her time with us has a positive impact on her future career plans.”

If you are interested in the volunteer and work placement opportunities at The Civic, Barnsley please call 01226 327000 or email enquiries@barnsleycivic.co.uk .

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