Young apprentice takes on Winchester creatives

Press Release: 30/04/2012

Hannah - Apprentice

Three arts organisations in Winchester have joined forces to employ a shared apprentice as part of a wider ‘Creative Apprenticeships’ initiative in the south Hampshire area.

Hannah Utley, aged 19, will work for four months consecutively in the Hat Fair Winchester, Theatre Royal Winchester and Winchester City Council while studying one day a week for a Community Arts Administration qualification.

Alison Woods, Winchester City Council’s Economy and Arts Manager, said:

As national youth unemployment figures continue to be of real concern across the country, Winchester City Council decided to team up with other local arts organisations to give a helping hand to a young person from Hampshire who is keen to work in the sector.
“Hannah’s apprenticeship will give her a mixture of on and off-the-job training while earning a salary. She will work alongside experienced staff in the three organisations to gain skills that will prove invaluable for a future career in the creative industries – and a great first step to finding long term employment.”

Hannah Utley, Community Arts Administration Apprentice, commented:

When I found out I had been offered the apprenticeship I couldn't stop beaming. This role is such a fantastic opportunity for me; I have always adored the arts and drawn much inspiration from them. My particular love is of photography, having studied this at college. The apprenticeship will enable me to be involved in the annual Hat Fair street festival, as well as various projects for the Theatre Royal Winchester and for the Winchester City Council. I am very excited at the prospect of such a varied assortment.”

Winchester City Council already has two apprentices working in its customer service team, and is planning to take on more this year. It hopes to lead by example, and to encourage other local businesses to follow suit.

Apprenticeships can make your business more effective, productive and competitive by addressing your skills gaps directly, even in uncertain economic times. There are government grants available of up to £1,500 for small and medium sized businesses (employing less than 250 staff), recruiting their first apprentice aged 16 to 24 years old. To find out more about taking on an apprentice visit

Winchester City Council is also introducing a small grant scheme this spring which is designed to support employees and their apprentices by covering some of the basic costs, which might otherwise be difficult to finance. These range from a simple set of work clothes for someone who has been out of employment for a while to the costs of travel to the training venue each week. Follow the ‘grants’ link from the home page of for more information or contact Alison Woods at Winchester City Council on 01962 848 347 or email