We use cookies on this website to improve how it works and how it’s used. For more information visit our Cookies Page.

Accept & Continue


Talent & Career Development

Talent & Career Development

Our Talent & Career Development programme is designed to help people find their own way into the Creative Industries.

The Creative Industries is a fast-growing sector that has become essential to the UK economy. Job opportunities are far broader than performing alone, encompassing technical backstage roles, programming, production, marketing, operations, arts education, management, and finance.

We believe creative skills are vital to nurture a dynamic and innovative workforce across all areas of employment.

We offer a range of programmes that promote creative careers and pathways into the industry, with space for young people to develop their creative skills.

It is our promise to utilise the Octagon & Westlands regional platform to support talent development and inspire young people, making visible the career options within our venues (Front of House, Box Office, Technical Theatre, Marketing, Programming, Events and our Arts Engagement & Outreach work), and working with partner national touring companies to make opportunities more visible.

We offer a range of programmes designed to highlight different creative careers and help young people find their own pathway forward.

Inside Creative Careers 

A careers event for Key Stage 3 groups, that promises to give a practical insight into different careers in the performing arts industry, in the context of busy arts venues such as The Octagon & Westlands.  Hands-on sessions learning about the range of roles required for taking work from page to stage including Technical (Lighting, Sound & Stage Management), Directing, Producing and Marketing, guided by our staff.

We deliver this event once a year during the autumn term.  To enquire about dates for next academic year, please get in touch.

Students at the Octagon

Octagon & Westlands Work Experience Programme

Our work experience programme aims to offer an overview of all aspects of the operation of both our venues (The Octagon and Westlands). You can expect to spend time with our Arts Engagement & Outreach, Programming, Box Office, Front of House, Marketing, Finance, Events and Technical teams. Over the week participants will take part in a series of challenges as set by each department, working together as a team, and at the end of the week will showcase what they have learned.

We hold two work experience weeks each year, with one programme open to Yr10 students (ages 14-15) and the second programme open to Yr12 & 13 students (ages 16 - 19).

Dates for 2024
Mon 8th - Fri 12th  April for Year 12 & 13 students
Mon 22th - Fri 26 July for Year 10 students

Applications for the Octagon & Westlands Work Experience programme are currently closed. To register your interest in our future work experience programmes please complete the online expression of interest form, we will then be in touch once applications for our work experience programmes reopen. Alternatively keep an eye on our social media and website - we will make announcements here to notify when applications are open for our work experience programme.
For further information including how to apply please submit an Expression of Interest.

If you have any questions or queries about the work experience programme or problems accessing the online form please contact our Arts Engagement & Outreach Officer Nick White via nick.white@somerset.gov.uk or 01395 462514.

For further information on our work experience programmes including how to apply: Discover More.

Work Experience Programme

Join our Early Careers Club

A space for individuals at the start of their professional journey to come together, network, learn, share experiences and grow. You might have just graduated from a full-time degree or vocational training, perhaps you’ve found another pathway into the industry, or maybe you’ve already started to establish a career in the arts but feel you need additional support. Early Career Club members will get support with CV writing, fundraising, what it means to be freelance, self-assessment tax returns, event management, marketing and navigating the arts industry. Members will be encouraged to create a plan for their own future professional development with our team, and at each meeting members will co-create, design and programme workshops and events as a group to help you develop your practice and next steps into the industry.

You can find further information about the Early Careers Club, including eligibility, here.

Early Careers Club


If you are interested in developing your career and looking for opportunities to develop your understanding of the industry and expand your experience and CV, please get in touch. We are happy to have conversations to see how we can support you in your development and find opportunities for passionate and committed individuals to shadow our staff or sit in on rehearsals for national touring companies or volunteer on projects and events alongside us.

If you are looking for mentoring and career development support, please contact our Arts Engagement & Outreach Officer, Nick White Nick.White@somerset.gov.uk




We’re able to offer opportunities for Volunteers to support our Arts Engagement & Outreach programme.

Our opportunities include:

  • Octagon & Westlands Participate Volunteer
  • Octagon Theatre Buddies Volunteer

Visit our Volunteer section of the website to find out full information on these opportunities and how to apply.

left April 2024 right
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday