When the curtain goes up on a show it is the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people – the performance may be in the hands of the artist, but how that performance looks, sounds and is heard about relies on a range of ancillary skills.

Nurturing and developing the next generation of arts industry professionals is at the heart of everything that goes on at Lighthouse so when two vacancies arose for casual technicians to join our team it was no surprise to hear from graduates of our Young Technicians course.

That two of them were subsequently offered roles is a testament to the success of the Young Technicians course and further evidence that it is making a positive difference to the career prospects of local young people.

“I couldn’t believe my luck I needed a job and saw the vacancy so applied and was successful, I couldn’t be happier to be here,” says Ryan Wheeler, 18 (pictured, top).

“My dream job is to do live sound engineering and mixing, which is why I did the Young Technicians course in the first place. To be able to actually work in the industry and build up my experience is an amazing opportunity – the technicians here are really good as well and great at showing you how things work.”

His colleague Josh Ord (pictured, below), also 18, was no less excited to be joining the team at Lighthouse.

“I’ve grown up in Poole and was taken to the panto most years so Lighthouse has been part of my life for as long as I can remember,” he says.

“The guys have been lovely to work with. I met a few of them on the Young Techs course and am good friends with some of them so this feels like a great first job.”

Speaking after his first shift in which he had helped set up sound and lights in the Sherling Studio and carried out emergency lighting checks, Ryan explained the job will prove invaluable when he returns to Bournemouth University in October.

“I’m doing Music and Sound Production so this is ideal experience for me, adding to what I picked up in the Young Technicians course that gave me a grounding in all aspects of what the technical team does.

“I didn’t really know sound engineering was a thing I could do until I went to college three years ago. I make my own music but it’s mainly instrumentals for people to listen to when they’re studying so it’s not really designed for live performance – it’s my hobby but this is what I want to do for a living.”


As does Josh, who is just completing a BTEC in Music Technology.

“It’s really exciting to be here as Lighthouse takes delivery of the cameras and equipment for the new digital project, that will open up a lot of opportunities. I’ve played music, but as soon as I found out about technology and how it can work with music that was it for me. I’m trying to learn all I can, but sound is my home and hopefully one day I’ll get to tour as a sound engineer and do the big festivals, that’s my dream, but it starts here at Lighthouse.”

Young Technicians returns in the Autumn when Lighthouse will be looking to offer places to young people aged 16 to 25 who are interested in getting to grips with lighting, sound and stage management in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings


Published 22 June 2021