THE spotlight is shining on a new college course which will help students break into the world of technical support for the arts industry.

Darlington College has launched a diploma in production arts for people interested in working behind the scenes on everything from TV to theatre.

By the end of the second year, the new extended diploma provides enough UCAS points for students to continue on to university or gain access into employment.

Aimed at those wanting to work in theatre, television, or events, concerts and festivals, it gives students a formal qualification in sound and lighting, staging and stage maintenance.

Course leader Tim Paver said: “There is a big requirement now in the industry for young people coming in on the technical side to be qualified.

“The current workforce is ageing and many practitioners began working in the industry as a hobby and have picked up the knowledge along the way.

“But the combination of rapidly advancing technology – a lot of the equipment requires IT skills – and the increasing demands of health and safety means that formal training is becoming much more important.”

He said taking the course would give students an industry standard qualification, 17th edition electrical requirements along with a PAT testing unit.

“We also plan to link up with organisations so that the students can gain real-life, hands-on experience," he said.

For more information contact 01325-503050 or visit