One of the backroom staff at Hammersmith’s Lyric theatre has been named the UK’s creative apprentice of the year.
Hammersmith resident Sherice Pitter began working at the King Street venue – which is financially supported by Hammersmith & Fulham Council – in 2011 on a programme aimed at young people not in work or education.
Two years later she was named Young People’s Apprentice at the Lyric Hammersmith, completing a community arts qualification before landing a job as development officer last September.
Now she has reached the giddy heights of Creative and Cultural Skills Apprentice of the Year for the entire country.
Last week 21-year-old Sherice was presented with her award at a ceremony at an events centre.
The award celebrates apprentices in the creative and cultural industries who have shown exceptional commitment and ambition.
“I feel honoured,” she said. “I found it very challenging in school and college, and having the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship has started me on a great career path. “Winning this has given me the confidence to challenge myself.”
Sherice’s apprenticeship was part of a programme run by the London Theatre Consortium, which includes the Bush Theatre, Royal Court and Young Vic. It has created 56 new roles in the past three years.
It is aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds who are interested in the arts but who have not done higher education. Around 60% are from non-white UK backgrounds and 27% have a disability.
This year the Lyric has already employed four new apprentices in everything from technical to community arts, venue operations to production. In all, the Lyric has supported nine young people who haven’t been to college.
Sian Alexander, Lyric executive director, said everyone was very proud of Sherice. “We’re thrilled she’s with us now as development officer in our fundraising department,” she said.
“Sherice and all our apprentices show us how positive these programmes are in developing the next generation of creative and cultural workers.”