Cultural Skills Consortium launched

Officially launched today, the Greater Manchester Cultural Skills Consortium has been initiated by Manchester International Festival, as part of a longer-term vision to put opportunities for local people at the heart of The Factory, the landmark cultural arts space that will be the future home of MIF.

Plans for the Consortium are backed by a range of organisations, including Contact, the Hallé, HOME, Manchester International Festival, The Lowry, Manchester Metropolitan University, Octagon Theatre Bolton, Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Palace Theatre & Opera House, Royal Exchange Theatre, Royal Northern College of Music, Science and Industry Museum, Walk the Plank and Z-Arts. It is hoped that other organisations will get involved.

“It’s very exciting to see arts organisations coming together to create new opportunities for local people across Greater Manchester. With the development of The Factory, we’re committed to ensuring there are opportunities for local people to get skills and partnership is going to be key to maximising the potential of one of the region’s most dynamic sectors.” John McGrath, Artistic Director and CEO at MIF

The plan is to offer a variety of roles, ranging from technical and production to visitor experience and customer service. Apprenticeships through the Consortium will last up to two years, with apprentices and trainees gaining valuable experience through employer-led training.

A pilot project this autumn will enable up to ten individuals to develop skills as Creative Venue Technicians, who provide technical support for the construction, rehearsal, presentation and removal of live performances. Most of the training will be on the job with Consortium members, but one-fifth will be focused on a core apprentice programme, including practical and personal development, delivered by a new Factory Academy that is being set up later this year.

Recruitment for the Creative Venue Technician apprenticeship programme is due to begin in Autumn 2019. People wanting to find out more, or register their interest, should email


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