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The Young Vic’s Jerwood Artist Development Pathway is a holistic program of industry entry points and progression routes for early-career artists.

Through the pathway, we offer intensive learning opportunities including traineeships and assistantships, alongside some of the UK’s most exciting artists. We nurture artists at the very start of their creative journey to learn about theatre, and to build skills and collaborative networks through year-long introductory courses. Vitally, all these opportunities include ongoing professional support from the Young Vic team.

This interconnected pathway of training and artist support is the evolution of our 20-year partnership with Jerwood Arts. Together we provide the essential ingredients – consistent opportunities to learn, a community of collaborators and a support network – to ignite and sustain a creative career.   

The Jerwood Artist Development Pathway includes:

Introduction to Making

Introduction to Making in partnership with our Taking Part team invites artists at the beginning of their creative journey (18-25 years) to explore storytelling and multi-disciplinary theatre-making across a 12-month engagement with the Young Vic. The group works with leading artists to learn new skills and techniques, to develop ideas and think about the kind of stories they want to tell and why.

Introduction to Making includes three learning periods, ongoing artist networking and personalised support including career advice and use of our facilities. Participants are invited to join the six-month progression project Fresh Direction, the Genesis Network and they can apply for Traineeships and Assistantships to further their creative development.

Trainee Assistantships

Trainee Assistantships give artists at the beginning of their career a paid opportunity to observe the process of making a Young Vic show from the first day of rehearsals through to opening night. Across a two-month placement, the Trainee supports the Assistant Director during rehearsals and previews, learning rehearsal techniques, etiquettes and absorbing creative dynamics in a supportive, developmental environment.

Trainee Assistantships provide the following opportunities to learn:

  • Supporting the Assistant Director during the rehearsal and preview process with a front row seat in how the creative team works together
  • Mentoring from the Young Vic staff
  • Tickets to see work at the Young Vic
  • Joining a peer group of former Trainee Assistants and the Genesis Network
  • Invitation to join six-month progression project Fresh Direction and opportunities to apply for Assistant positions


The Jerwood Assistant Directors Program has been running for a decade in partnership with Jerwood Arts. It is designed to empower artists, demystify organisational structures and cultivate leadership ambitions.

Assistantships give an early-career artist the opportunity to learn from some of the most exciting and renowned artists working in theatre today. Across three months, the Assistant supports the lead creative of a show in rehearsals to previews and during the run. Each experience responds to the practice of the artist, the nature of the show and skill set of the Assistant. We provide further insights through a two-week placement in our building, and continued creative exploration with opportunities to curate and facilitate workshops.

Assistantships provide the following opportunities to learn:

  • Supporting the lead creative on a Young Vic show across the full rehearsal period and performance run.
  • Observing day-to-day running of the theatre through a two-week placement in departments such as marketing, production and development  
  • Devising and leading two peer-led projects for the Genesis Network
  • Seeing work at the Young Vic and organisations across the industry
  • Joining a supportive network of Jerwood Assistant Alumni.


The Young Vic’s Jerwood Artist Development Pathway is supported by the Jerwood Developing Artists Fund.