Theatre Workforce

Developing the Future Theatre Workforce

UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) commissioned Nordicity, working with Alistair Smith, Editor of The Stage, to carry out a major research project into the current and future training needs of the theatre and performing arts sector.   

The Theatre Workforce Review was published on 22 June 2017. 

The report's findings inform our work with employers, sector bodies, skills providers and government, to ensure the right skills and expertise are in place for our industry to thrive. 

The Workforce Development Strategy is our response to this research. It sets out UK Theatre and SOLT's objectives to ensure the long term health of our industry. Read more in the Workforce Development Strategy tab below. 

UK Theatre and SOLT have created a Workforce Development Strategy based on the challenges identified in the Off Stage Theatre Workforce Review.

The strategy aims to ensure that the appropriate skills and expertise are in place for theatre and the performing arts to thrive twenty years from now, to improve the diversity of the theatre and performing arts workforce, and address long-term culture change in the professional development of the theatre and the performing arts industry.

The Workforce Development Strategy will be carried out over several years, include multiple areas of work and involve a wide range of stakeholders.

A consortium of industry employers and sector bodies has been formed to help us shape the work. The consortium includes:

  • Kris Bryce, Pitlochry Festival Theatre
  • Michelle Carwardine-Palmer, National Theatre Wales
  • Natalie Highwood, London Theatre Consortium
  • Prema Mehta, Lighting Designer
  • Caro Newling, Neal Street Productions
  • Richard Oriel, Disney Theatrical Group
  • Jo Pitman, Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Emma Rees, Arts Council England
  • Deborah Sawyerr, Mercury Theatre
  • Robert West, Creative & Cultural Skills
  • Anna Williams, Birmingham Royal Ballet 

The Theatre Development Trust support the Workforce Development Strategy with seed funding and staffing costs.

Click here to download our Workforce Development Strategy: Summary of Objectives 

A Guide to Entry Routes

UK Theatre and SOLT have worked with Creative & Cultural Skills to create information sheets to introduce theatre employers to the learning and skills landscape, which we appreciate can sometimes feel like a confusing area of work.

  1. Understanding Entry Routes - know what sort of placements and qualifications theatres can use. If you are thinking about or would like to engage anyone through these entry routes, please read our detailed booklet or contact Creative & Cultural Skills.   
  2. Key Players - a list of key players in education and what they are responsible for   
  3. Common Terminology - definitions of some of the most common language used in skills and education     
  4. Progression Pathways: Levels of Learning - understand what level of difficulty qualifications are    

These guides apply to England only. For more information on Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales, please contact Creative & Cultural Skills at info@ccskills.org.uk. 

Information correct at time of publishing (March 27 2019) 


Entry Routes Survey

We need information from you to help us better understand the use and challenges of entry routes such as apprenticeships, internships and T Levels. The survey is now closed. The results will help us to understand the landscape so we can effectively shape the development of policy initiatives and achieve the relevant objectives in the Workforce Development Strategy.


T Levels

The Theatre Workforce Review identified that there are several skills gaps in the talent pipeline to the theatre industry, and that we currently are not representative of the population as a whole. 

UK Theatre and SOLT welcome the prioritisation of technical qualifications within the Sainsbury Review and the subsequent technical education reforms. We want to ensure that these new qualifications help fill the talent gap, whilst diversifying our workforce across the country.

We have been engaging with theatre employers, the Department for Education, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation on the ongoing development of T Levels. We have collated this summary of comments from our members regarding the implementation of T Levels in our industry, and shared it with these stakeholders.

Get Into Theatre is the UK’s leading theatre careers website. Get Into Theatre is funded and supported by SOLT and UK Theatre alongside the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation. It is produced by The Stage.

The website helps visitors find information and opportunities to pursue a successful career in theatre in the UK. Many people do not know about all the job options in theatre or the different ways to make a start in a theatre career, so the website provides easy access to current information on:

  • Training and studying
  • Funding, scholarships and awards
  • Experiences
  • Theatre job profiles

Get into Theatre was launched in May 2019.

Visit the Get Into Theatre website

Inspiring the Future of Theatre is a wide-reaching industry initiative which aims to show young people the range of careers available in theatre, and to encourage and strengthen connections between schools and their local theatres.

It was launched in July 2018 by UK Theatre and SOLT in partnership with charity Education and Employers.

You can get involved in three ways:

  1. Volunteer to visit a local school
  2. Take part in a flagship event
  3. Support #InspiringFutureTheatre day on social media

Find out more

Stage Sight logo.jpeg

Stage Sight is a collaborative network of theatre and performing arts organisations whose vision is to create an off stage workforce that is more reflective of our society today, inclusive of ethnicity, class and disability. 

UK Theatre and SOLT manage the day to day running of Stage Sight, as it's mission directly aligns with the main objectives of the Workforce Development Strategy.

The Stage Sight website launched in March 2019.

Visit the Stage Sight website

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"UK Theatre" is the operating name of UK Theatre Association, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, whose registered office is at 32 Rose Street, London, WC2E 9ET, Company No 323204.