A new three-part series featuring the Academy of Live Technology aired last week, as BBC Radio Leeds visited Production Park to go behind the scenes to shine a light on the opportunities in the industry.
Across three episodes from 31 May - 2 June, listeners can hear when Richard Stead from BBC Radio Leeds spoke to students and staff from the Academy of Live Technology, as well as take a tour of the campus.
Speaking to Rachel Nicholson, Head of Institution at the Academy of Live Technology, she highlighted the wealth of career opportunities that are available in the live experience and entertainment industry, but are not part of common knowledge at all:
“... the whole point of being backstage is that most of the time we’re not supposed to be seen, so a lot of people aren’t aware of the huge industry that goes behind putting on those shows. So actually, some people are really surprised that if you’re interested in computer design, in IT technology, art, music and engineering, actually there’s a career for you in the live industry.”
Rachel Nicholson, Head of Institution at Academy of Live Technology
Dedicated to fulfilling industry’s growing demand for skilled workers, the Academy of Live Technology recently conducted a study to better understand the awareness and opinions of creative career paths – with only 12% of the young people surveyed saw a job in the creative industries as a high value career choice.
A priority for the institution is to not only put the spotlight on these career paths, but also dispel the myths and misconceptions around the validity of careers in live experience and entertainment. Rachel Nicholson said: “It’s good, consistent work, there is a viable career, you can get a decent salary, and have a good quality of life. Absolutely all these things. I don’t know where [these misconceptions] come from because actually as we can say, it’s one of the biggest growing industries in the UK. It’s a really stable industry, there are a lot of jobs coming through at the moment that they’re struggling to find talented people in them.”
As part of the campus tour, BBC Radio Leeds also featured students from the Academy of Live Technology. A visit to XPLOR’s Centre for Virtual Production included visuals from a final major project by third year Live Visual Design and Production students, Oscar and Jamie. Meanwhile, Studio 002 featured a final major project by Stage and Production Management students Amy, Eden, Jessica and Ellis.
When asked what the Academy of Live Technology offers to students, Rachel Nicholson, said: “What we’re looking for is people who are interested in learning in an alternative way. The Academy of Live Technology is all about doing your degree in an alternative way. So if you’re interested in computer game design, maybe consider a career actually designing the visuals for live events, doing the animations and creating the worlds that way. You get to go on tour with bands, to work on some of the biggest shows in the world…
“There’s a huge number of careers here, that everyone who is school and college age at the moment are being really well prepared for – they just don’t know those careers exist yet. And that actually, the skills they’ve got already, are the ones we need or are in demand.”
The three episodes featuring the tour of the Academy of Live Technology and Production Park are available for 30 days on BBC Sounds.