JAMES Launches New Studio Apprenticeship Programme

The Sound Recording, Engineering and Studio Facilites apprenticeship programme is a collaborative effort between Joint Audio Media Education Support (JAMES), the Music Producers Guild, UK Music, the Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS), Creative & Cultural Skills and the National Skill Academy.

The apprenticeship programme is based on the new National Occupational Standards for those working in sound engineering and music technology, the development of which involved consultation with more than 400 people throughout the recording and audio industry.

“This is an area that has a lot of skills gap in a sector that is growing massively,” commented City & Guilds’ Kerry McLennan-McKenzie during the programme’s launch at Metropolis Studios in Chiswick. “It’s wonderful to work on qualifications that will now be used and fill gaps that will lead to employment.”

JAMES’ Mark Rose, who is also studio manager of Deep Recording Studios and the founder of the Deep Recording Trust, spearheaded the development of the apprenticeship programme alongside Tony Platt.

"Sound engineering as a subject is now being taken more seriously, it’s not just seen as a hobby any more, but a profession. Over the years we have seen a huge and variable dilution of training that is deemed to be acceptable," said Mark.

“What we are doing with this apprenticeship programme is turning people into taxpayers but also house-training them at the same time.

“I think there’s an awful lot of hire and fire going on in music at the moment and the music industry does need to grow up a little bit with its responsibility. I think this programme will go a long ways towards that and towards offering alternative recruitment drives into our industry that are currently not there and that haven’t been there because we haven’t had the support in the past.”

Apprentices must be employed for at least a year, working 30 hours per week split between time in the studio and off-site at an industry-approved (JAMES and City & Guilds) FE provider or college who will supplement on-the-job training with a structured and graded process, allowing employers to stay focused and keep working.

The Sound Recording, Engineering and Studio Facilities Apprenticeship programme is scheduled to launch this September with between £3000 and £5000 in grants available to employers.

For more information, visit the JAMES website.

Photo courtesy of Grace Lightman