Theatre Workforce

Developing the Future Theatre Workforce


The UK Theatre and SOLT workforce development strategy is based on the evidence of the current and future training needs of our workforce presented in the Off Stage Theatre Workforce Review delivered by Nordicity, working with Alistair Smith.

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 strategy is likely to 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 

UK Theatre and SOLT will update on progress throughout the lifetime of the project.

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

UK Theatre in partnership with 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, and government, to ensure the right skills and expertise are in place for our industry to thrive (see more in the Workforce Development Strategy tab below)

Stage Sight is an initiative which aims to widen the diversity of the theatre and performing arts workforce in off stage roles. As such, it's mission directly aligns with main objectives of UK Theatre and SOLT's Workforce Development Strategy.

Stage Sight brings together the practical ways that organisations are improving the diversity of their off stage workforce, and shares information so that everyone can learn and find support from their peers and colleagues.

It is a collective, a campaign and a resource.


  • A collaborative network that is open to all
  • Members commit to making a practical change and share their progress and learning


  • To raise awareness of the need to achieve a representative off stage workforce, and the benefits of doing so
  • To encourage practical, simple steps to achieve this
  • To champion success and good practice


  • A collection of case studies
  • A project database
  • Access to peer to peer advice and information

UK Theatre and SOLT offer Project Management support to Stage Sight.

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UK Theatre & SOLT have worked with Creative & Cultural Skills to create these 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 & 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 

Information correct at time of publishing (March 27 2019)

UK Theatre anSociety of London Theatre (SOLT) have embarked on a wide-reaching new industry initiative in partnership with Inspiring the Future, part of the charity Education and Employers.

Building on SOLT and UK Theatre’s recent Workforce Review, Inspiring the Future of Theatre aims to showcase the range of careers available in theatre to young people, and encourage and strengthen connections between schools and their local theatres.

Find out more here.

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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.