Join our Skills and Development Working Group

Join SOLT and UK Theatre's Skills and Development Working Group

SOLT and UK Theatre are forming a working group to guide our response to skills and development issues affecting the sector. 

The working group will advise on initiatives we produce to respond to these challenges, help assess gaps in training and development provision provided by the industry, and input into SOLT and UK Theatre’s lobbying work in this area.

Please note that expressions of interest for joining this working group have now closed.


SOLT and UK Theatre’s 2017 Workforce Review indicated that the theatre industry faces a range of long-term skills and training challenges

These issues relate to skills shortages, a lack of in-career training and development, poor support for freelance staff, high barriers to entry and poorly signposted routes into the sector. Research from Freelancers Make Theatre Work, PLASA/We Make Events and our own surveys of membership indicate that many of these issues have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

UK Theatre and SOLT’s ambition is to implement a range of skills and development initiatives to nurture the future workforce and support and invest in the current workforce. Our aim is to ensure that the appropriate skills and expertise are in place to allow the theatre and performing arts workforce to thrive for many years to come.

Purpose of the working group

The working group has been formed to:

  • Guide the SOLT and UK Theatre Boards on development and delivery of a skills and development strategy for the sector
  • Help shape SOLT and UK Theatre’s response to skills and development issues, providing support in the implementation of any relevant initiatives
  • Ensure that initiatives involve the input of those directly affected by the challenges each project is addressing
  • Help assess the current gaps in training and development provision provided by the industry
  • Advise on prioritisation of projects
  • Provide sector input into SOLT and UK Theatre’s public affairs work in this area
Who are we looking for?
The working group should include a mix of as many of these skills and demographics as possible:
  • Experience of running or developing an apprenticeship scheme
  • Experience in areas where there are known skills shortages in the sector: technical theatre, marketing, HR
  • Education, learning and participation
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Human Resources/people management
  • Recruitment
  • Skills development
  • Training and continuous professional development
  • Representing commercial and not-for-profit organisations
  • Freelancers working in the theatre and performing arts industry
  • Representing the four nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales)
  • Representing as wide a range of demographics as possible across age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, caring responsibilities and socio-economic background
The working group will be made up of SOLT and UK Theatre members and will include representatives of both the SOLT and UK Theatre Boards (approx. 4 total), as well as representation from freelancers (up to 2 total). The working group will comprise a maximum of 20 people.

Working group meeting structure and procedure

  • Meetings will be held online, quarterly
  • The working group will be chaired by the Head of UK Theatre and Workforce Development or participating members of the SOLT and UK Theatre Boards
  • Meetings will be called by SOLT/UK Theatre, giving ideally one month but a minimum of one week’s written notice to all members of the working group
  • Decision making will be based on a simple majority
  • Notes will be taken and shared with the working group
  • The quorum will be whichever is the higher of 3 and 50% of working group membership
  • Payment for attendance at Working Group meetings is available for freelancers, at a rate of £150 per meeting
  • Live captioning / BSL sign-language interpretation can be made available for meetings if required

Who does the working group report to?

The working group makes recommendations for solutions to the SOLT and UK Theatre Boards. 

Download the full Terms of Reference

If you have any questions about the Skills and Development working group, please email Annie Waugh, Projects Manager:

02 February 2022
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+44 (0)20 7557 6700

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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.