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Interview with a Creative Apprentice at Point Blank Music College

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The Creative Apprenticeship initiative is an alternative route into the creative industries, one based on ability and potential rather than academic record, social background or contacts. It was introduced by Creative & Cultural Skills. You can click here to find out a bit more about it.

Young Hackney resident, Janelle James, recently earned the opportunity to undertake a Creative Apprenticeship at Point Blank, a creative media school located in Hoxton. Liz from CC Skills got in touch with Janelle to see how the apprenticeship was going. You can hear for yourself what she had to say by reading on...

Janelle with Point Blank CEO Rob COwan

So tell me a bit about yourself, what were you doing before your Apprenticeship?

I was at barking college on a performing arts BTEC and I was on the student council there, but I didn’t enjoy the course too much.

Outside of that I was working in a youth club helping out with the young people who dropped by.

So how did you find out about the point blank apps and why did it interest you? 

My mum found out about it and told me, I liked the sound of it, so I applied and got it. I was interested because I like working with young people like I did at the youth club, this gave me the opportunity to do that.

So what did you know about Apprenticeships before you started?

I didn’t know anything about them, I didn’t know they existed. I have recommended them to my friends and now all my friends want to do apprenticeships too, they keep asking can you get me one of them.

What do you enjoy about being an apprentice, how is it different to college?

I feel like I fit in at point blank, at college people would mess around and you couldn’t get work done, here it’s different. People are more mature.

So tell me what you have been doing so far?

Victoria my mentor has been teaching me key skills and I also have a work log that I am about to start work on. Sometimes I work in the office here at point blank, but I am out with the tutors too. I spent two weeks working alongside tutors at the Petchey Academy assisting with 14-16 year olds working on projects, I like doing that. I have also been working on a business proposal in my time at college.

sounds very interesting, what is your business idea?

The idea is a talent show, people audition and then they are given say for example a 1 week singing course by point blank and then at the end of the week they have to perform to an audience and the best singer wins a scholarship with point blank. It could be other things other than singing too.

So what do you hope your Apprenticeship will do for you?

I hope they keep me on at point blank (laughs). I know that with the variety of experience I get from the work I am doing; it will help me get good references for the next job. I want to be a drama teacher; set up my own school and help those who want to do drama get over the fear of going on the stage. No one really helped me overcome it I just had to suck it in they said but I am sure there must be techniques to deal with it; I want to help people through that.

Well it’s clear you like helping people so you sound like just the person to start up that school.

I’m interested to know, why do you think employers should take on apprentices, what do they get from it?

Its good for the people who work at the company, they get to mentor and train young people and teach them their skills, new skills. They can teach them about the business too. On the business side it’s good for other companies to see that they are open minded and willing to do something different and take risks. It shows they are a progressive company; they aren’t just employing people in the same way all the time. They get young people straight out of school or college who have their ideas fresh in their head and can share these with their employer.





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