Staged for Life

Established in 2015, Staged for Life is an employability project that provides free, accredited training courses for young unemployed people to learn skills in how to operate sound and lighting equipment for live events. This initiative not only provides the young people involved with relevant skills and work experience in the rapidly growing industry of live events, but also facilitates personal development through exposure to art, culture, social dialogue and team-work.

2016 Project Edition

Young Start, Ernst Cook Trust and Dr Guthrie’s Association awarded the project with funding. JobCentre Plus, Young Scot, the Edinburgh Guarantee, Black Light, Youth Link Scotland, the Edinburgh College, Black Dingo Productions, Gilded Balloon, the Assembly Roxy, the Pleasance, Paradise Green and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society supported the project delivery.

A total of 165 applications were received for the 2016 Staged for Life training course. 22 young people were short-listed based on the candidates’ work ethic and enthusiasm to learn new skills.

Throughout the two weeks participants took part in practical workshops covering a variety of key topics including health and safety; installing, setting up and operating sound and lighting for a range of event types; equipment maintenance; stage management and communicating with performers, event organisers and team members. 17 out of the 22 participants successfully completed the training course, creating a 77% pass rate.

Project Outcomes

Having the training course accredited has allowed a clearer pathway into full-time education for participants. Indeed, 3 young people have transitioned onto an HNC Technical Theatre course at Edinburgh College directly due to their involvement with Staged for Life in 2016. In addition, the 14 individuals who undertook supported work placements now have experience that will be recognised across a range of industries, especially within the events sector.

100% of the 14 individuals who benefitted from work placement opportunities agreed that the training facilities were adequate for the 2-week course; they utilised skills learnt from the course; they found the work placement beneficial; they received adequate support throughout the process; as well as they felt more confident in finding employment by taking part in this process.

Participants' Comments

“I suffer from anxiety and it was really good for my mental health problems. It was a safe environment and it helped me come out of my shell. I am much more confident now”

“Being unemployed for so long I retreated from society. This has got me back into things - reintegrating. I feel like myself again. There have been so many positive things….it’s been a very, very good idea to get involved.”