Developing the next generation of technicians, producers and arts professionals.

Manchester is building The Factory, a new venue for creativity and the arts, in the heart of the city. The Factory will present bold new work by the world’s most exciting artists – and it will also be home to The Factory Academy, which will help people from all backgrounds to start new careers in the creative industries.

The Factory Academy is a key part of the vision to put skills and training opportunities at the heart of The Factory. Working in partnership with training providers and arts organisations in the region, The Factory Academy will deliver a range of apprenticeships and training opportunities over the next few years with the aim of diversifying the workforce in an increasingly important sector.

The programme was initiated by MIF and is backed by the Greater Manchester Cultural Skills Consortium which launched last year to collaborate on the provision of training and skills development in the region. Members include Brighter Sound, Contactthe HalléHOMEThe Lowry, Manchester International Festival, Manchester Metropolitan UniversityOctagon Theatre BoltonOldham Coliseum TheatrePalace Theatre & Opera HouseRoyal Exchange TheatreRoyal Northern College of MusicScience and Industry MuseumWalk the Plank and Z-Arts.

Activity has included a pilot Creative Traineeship Programme, which launched in Dec 2018 and involved seven local young people working in roles such as IT, Digital, Production, Ticketing and Development, leading up to and during MIF19.

Seven MIF trainees stood together(c) Chris Foster

Subsequently, one of the trainees has been directly employed by MIF, another is working with a Manchester-based arts organisation, one has been recruited locally to a prestigious charity and another has landed a role at a high-profile arts organisation in London.

In October 2019, 22 young people from Greater Manchester were enrolled on eight-week traineeships where they learned a variety of practical and development skills delivered by The Factory Academy team to equip them to apply for opportunities such as the Creative Venue Technician apprenticeships as well as attending a three-week work placement hosted by a network of cultural organisations in the city.

14 people aged between 16 - 24 holding up certificates in front of a screen that says Factory Academy End of Year Review

Take a look at our Factory Academy 2019 year in review here.

Factory Futures was announced in September 2020, which is our new training programme designed to help young people learn key skills through free work experience programmes, traineeships and paid internships.

For more information about upcoming opportunities visit our Train With Us page.

The Factory will be a rich source of apprenticeships and a major training centre for local people wanting to work in a huge range of roles in the creative industries, from technicians and producers to marketing positions – meaning that people wanting to work in this sector can pursue careers, working alongside world-class talents, without having to leave the region. There will also be opportunities for local artists to develop and grow.