Kathryn McGrane at NI Opera

Work Based Learning provides an immersive experience for the learners where they can learn first-hand, by applying their knowledge and experience. The practical, hands-on industry experience benefits the students by enhancing knowledge and delivering first-hand experience of working in the creative sector, increasing opportunities for future employment and labour mobility.

Kathryn McGrane, a photography and film graduate from Northern Ireland, participated in the second round of the Digital and New Technologies pilot course in Belfast Metropolitan College. After completing four weeks of face to face learning sessions and additional online learning, she was ready to go out in the real world and apply the newly acquired knowledge. She had her Work Based Learning at Northern Ireland Opera for four weeks, and the experience was extremely positive for both sides. Kathryn had the chance to witness how Opera productions function backstage, and NI Opera gained an excellent young professional with an updated set of skills that responds to today’s sector needs. During her placement, Kathryn mostly documented rehearsals and performances through photography and recording. But the four weeks of the Live Skills placement was not the end of the collaboration between Kathryn and NI Opera, as she was commissioned to create the poster for one of their upcoming productions, The Enchantress.

It is stories like this that describe the essence of Live Skills project. Watch Kathryn share her thoughts about the program here!

"Through my Work Based Learning experience, I had an amazing time, learned a lot, met a lot of fantastic people, and through Live Skills I am being commissioned by NI Opera to design a poster for their next production!"



The Enchantress