The Old Vic announces its continued commitment to social mobility with the expansion of the unique employability scheme, Front Line. Due to the generous support of Lambeth Council and the Mayor of London through a London Borough of Culture Cultural Impact Award, The Old Vic will roll out the scheme to six partner organisations as part of ELEVATE, Lambeth’s mission to support diverse talent and open up the creative workplace. Front Line will provide 30 local people aged 16-25 with paid work experience placements. Working alongside The Old Vic are the Garden Museum, Morley College London, Omnibus Theatre, Pop Brixton, Southbank Centre and the Streatham Space Project.

Each paid placement will offer varying opportunities to gain an insight into the inner workings of a cultural organisation. Depending on the venue these will range from Box Office, Front of House, café and bar and retail to events, gallery and studio assisting and marketing. Skills will be developed in customer service, event and space management, sales, digital marketing, curation and sound recording, amongst other things.

The Old Vic is unique. An independent, risk-taking, creative producing theatre operating without subsidy that has been reinventing itself for 200 years. At the heart of its local and creative community since its inception in 1818, the theatre has always played a vital part in shaping the theatrical and social landscape of London and beyond. Our social mission is woven into the fabric of what we do and we champion creative approaches to social mobility, education and engagement, seeking to support young people to be the best they can be.

Thank you for this once in a lifetime opportunity, creating such an inspiring, thriving environment and sharing so much wisdom in such a structured, manageable and motivational way. I think we all feel inspired and empowered and prepared to go out into the world’ Previous Front Line Participant

Front Line was developed to address the potential ‘gap’ between studies and employment in an effort to give practical experience to those with an interest in theatre. The programme provides an alternative training route for young people who may otherwise struggle to access careers in the industry and supports participants to learn new practical skills and gain in confidence. Launched in 2015, the scheme has to date supported 119 young people to gain employment skills.

On the partnership Kate Varah, Executive Director of The Old Vic, said: ‘Front Line is an inspirational example of the societal impact cultural organisations can have on their local community and beyond. The Old Vic is a registered charity in receipt of no regular public subsidy yet, at no cost to the public purse, we have created projects like Front Line to equip young people with employability skills that can have life changing results. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Lambeth Council and six local cultural and community organisations to take this scheme beyond The Old Vic, enabling us collectively to reach more young people and share best practice

Cllr Jack Hopkins, Leader of Lambeth Council, said: ‘Lambeth is well known as a borough with wonderful art and culture, and is leading the way in attracting creative and digital businesses, but there is often a stark lack of diversity in these thriving sectors of the economy. The ELEVATE programme is going to be instrumental in helping us tackle this and to discover, nurture and promote creative talent from those communities and groups that are currently underrepresented. I’m really excited to see that The Old Vic is rolling out its game-changing Front Line with pioneering organisations from across Lambeth.’


Applications for this year’s scheme open on Friday 17 May 2019 and anybody aged between 16-25 and living in Lambeth can apply by:

No experience is necessary and we welcome applications from those not in education, employment or training.

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