LIPA is one of the United Kingdom’s leading higher education institutions for the performing arts. Set up by Sir Paul McCartney and Mark Featherstone-Witty, LIPA first opened in 1996 offering courses in all aspects of performance and the key associated technologies that make performance possible.
SSE Hire and Wigwam Hire are two of the leading audio rental houses for the live events industry. The companies joined forces in 2013 as SSE Audio Group but continue to operate as separate entities from their respective offices in Redditch and Heywood.
Commencing this summer, SSE and Wigwam are introducing an exciting work experience and internship programme. Placements will be offered to selected LIPA students with an interest in live sound from the Sound Technology and Theatre and Performance Technology courses. The programme will be mutually beneficial and will involve working in all technical aspects of the business, both in the warehouse and out on productions.
Wigwam Managing Director Spencer Beard commented, “We’re delighted to be working with LIPA on this project. This year we are offering second year students work experience over the summer vacation. We are also planning to offer year-long paid internships to selected year three graduates, one based at Wigwam in Heywood, one at SSE in Redditch. LIPA is a prestigious, and well-respected performing arts higher education institution with many of their graduates occupying prominent and influential positions within our industry. We already employ as full time members of staff some highly skilled and respected LIPA graduates and we see this partnership as a long-term commitment.”
SSE Hire Manager Dan Bennett, who graduated from LIPA in 2005 added, “Both courses cover a wide spectrum of sound and theatre technology in the first two years before specialising in a single discipline in the final year. The opportunity to gain first-hand experience with SSE or Wigwam will really help those who are looking at live sound in their third year.”
Bennet continued, “The internship is an excellent first step on the pro-audio career ladder. SSE and Wigwam are recognised as two of the leading companies in the UK and twelve months’ experience with either on your CV makes you extremely employable in our industry.”
Jon Thornton is the Head of Sound Technology at LIPA: “To have the opportunity for LIPA to work with SSE and Wigwam is excellent for all parties. Our students are gaining access to “the real world” of Pro Audio from those that know it best, while SSE Audio is able to work with some of the best up and coming talent within the industry. I’m really looking forward to getting this off the ground and believe it will be successful for many years to come.”