Rotherham College Apprentice learning his craft at an iconic Sheffield Music Venue

09 March 2015

An Apprentice has found the perfect place to learn his craft at an Iconic Sheffield Music Venue.

The Leadmill, a venue which has hosted an endless list of famous bands since the early 80s, is the work place for Matt Baxter, a Level 2 Technical Theatre, Light, Sound and Stage Apprentice at Rotherham College.

The list of bands and artist who have performed at the venue include the White Stripes, Lily Allen and the Arctic Monkeys.  Although a big part of the Leadmill’s success is spotting the relatively unknown up-and-coming bands before they go on to international stardom.

Matt is part of the team behind the scenes that ensures that gigs and performances at the historic venue go to plan.

Before starting his apprenticeship, Matt studied Level 3 Music Technology at the College. He is using the knowledge and skills he learned on the course in his new role as an apprentice.

He said: “Doing the Level 3 Music Technology course provided me with confidence and taught me a lot about discipline. I learned how to work to deadlines and how to communicate with bands to get the sound they wanted”.

“Without doing my course at Rotherham College, I think I might have struggled and I would have been thrown in at the deep end.  Instead, I have been able to use what I learnt in the classroom and transfer it into my Apprenticeship.”

Matt recalls how his biggest achievement working as an Apprentice has been working with bands that have hired the venue.

Matt added, “Knowing that a band relies on you to make sure the gig runs smoothly is a big responsibility. You are dependable to work to lighting plans and deliver exactly what the band wants.”

Ian Lawlor, General Manager at the Leadmill, praised the knowledge and professionalism that Matt has brought to the company.

He said: “In a good way, it has felt like Matt has been with us for years. It hasn’t felt like we’ve had a new member of staff who we’ve had to take six months to train up.

“Within the first two weeks of his apprenticeship, we could depend on Matt to do anything; obviously that means the College are doing something right in preparing their students for employment.”

He added: “It’s our first apprentice, but we have a link with Huddersfield University where students come here and do their work placement year. If anything, Matt has stood out more than the placement students we’ve had, which is incredible.

Ian says that he “100% recommends employing an Apprentice” and that the Leadmill was “lucky to get such a talented member of staff like Matt”.







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