PROPEL: Work placement programme for producers and production managers

We’re thrilled to announce that our PROPEL work placement programme for early-career Producers and Production Managers returns for a second year, and we’re seeking host organisations to partner with for this transformative opportunity.

PROPEL is generously supported by the Jerwood Developing Artists Fund and Bradford 2025, UK City of Culture.

Jerwood Developing Artists Fund

PROPEL is a skills development programme for early-career Producers and Production Managers in Bradford. Not just your usual training programme; PROPEL is designed to prepare participants to deliver bold and ambitious new and artistic work through work placements with renowned national venues, festivals and events. To support these placements, the programme also includes funding, training, mentoring and networking opportunities. 

PROPEL is part of our ongoing mission to ready Bradford talent to deliver projects of real scale as we prepare for Bradford 2025, UK City of Culture.

Partner Host Open Call

We’re looking to work with 6 organisations, ideally based in the North of England, to host a placement for around 50 days; either a full-time intensive placement or part-time over a longer period. The placements should provide real work-based learning for the candidate alongside an experienced Producer or Production Manager.

What makes PROPEL stand out from our other programmes is the work placement opportunities – and so we’re looking to partner with exciting national festivals and venues to connect our promising early-career professional Producers and Production Managers with real on-the-job training. 

In 2023, we partnered with Deer Shed Festival, Transform Festival, Sheffield Theatres, and Harrogate International Festivals to host four Bradford creatives.

Our candidates have risen through the BPH ranks and will have completed other producing and production management training programmes, setting the groundwork for them to propel their skills to the next level with inspiring and ambitious national events partners. 

We’re seeking organisations who would like to host a paid placement for our candidates; with 50% of the costs covered by us with support from Jerwood Arts

When does the placement need to take place?

Placements need to be 50 days and can take place at any point between April and November 2024.

What does my organisation get out of it?
  • A capable and enthusiastic early-career professional to work for your organisation for up to 50 days – with 50% of this time paid for by Bradford Producing Hub (BPH).
  • Someone who will have already undertaken specific career-focussed training and is keen to get stuck in as part of your team
  • The opportunity to provide a meaningful career development opportunity safe in the knowledge that the candidate will be hardworking, eager to learn and up for the challenge of new experiences and new ways of working
  • Ongoing support from BPH in hosting the placement
What is required from my organisation?

We are specifically looking for partners who can offer a placement where the candidate will:

  • Be immersed in your organisation and feel part of your team
  • Gain valuable learning and hands-on experience, working with you to deliver significant projects
  • Have a delegated senior person whom they will be partnered with to learn from; who is generous with their time, knowledge and skills
  • Be paid a freelance rate of £160 per day for 50 days (£8000). BPH will cover 50% of this and the host organisation will contribute the same £4000.

We think this programme will work best if the placement has a clear focus and the candidate is working towards a specific event, or series of events i.e. a festival, the opening of a new production or an event of scale. However, we know that there can also be valuable learning that comes from understanding and taking part in R&D/developmental opportunities; so we’re open to discussions around this too.

Additionally, hosts will be asked to:

  • Work closely and maintain regular communication with BPH to ensure the success of the placement
  • Take part in an online welcome/info session to introduce your organisation to potential candidates and answer any questions they may have
  • Travel to Bradford for the interviews
  • Be open to supporting and sharing your learning with other organisations hosting placements
  • Contribute to BPH evaluation 

You know what structure will provide the best opportunity for the person selected and be most useful to your organisation. It may be that you offer a solid block of time, a regular number of days each week, or several days that increase as you get closer to a significant period of delivery e.g. production week or festival opening. When we do the recruitment call out we will share this information with potential candidates so that they can be sure that their availability fits with what you can offer.

That said, PROPEL seeks to fast-track the development of people from backgrounds and experiences underrepresented in the arts. This often includes people with caring responsibilities, additional access needs or for whom intense working patterns can be a barrier, so please think about how you can be as flexible as possible.

What training/experience will the candidates have?

Last year, PROPEL was open to candidates who had already completed BPH producer or production management training. This enabled us to ‘fast-track’ candidates from our existing talent pool. This year, applications will be open to all early-career creatives from Bradford and the surrounding areas. Successful candidates who haven’t already received producer or production management training from us will be placed on relevant training programmes such as LVL /UPThe Optimists, and production management training from Ben Pugh, Head of Production and Event Operations at Bradford 2025. This will ensure all candidates will have the required base knowledge to thrive on their placements with you. 

Please note: people seeking a production management placement will not have technical qualifications or proficiency in technical skills such as rigging or operating technical equipment.

What if we can offer more (or less) than 50 days?

If you can offer more than 50 days this is brilliant and we can recruit someone to work with you for more than 50 days – however BPH only has the budget to match-fund up to £4000, so any additional days would need to be entirely covered by you.

We are absolutely open to discussions about a placement lasting less than 50 days, but this would still need to be a significant enough amount of time to offer a genuinely valuable learning experience for the individual, equipping them to take the next steps in their career.

Who will contract the candidate?

We are proposing that BPH will contract the candidate and manage the payment of fees to them. We will draw up a placement partnership agreement between your organisation and BPH.

How will people be selected?

Applications will be open to early-career producers and production managers from across the Bradford district and the surrounding areasCandidates will all go through the same application process:

  • Candidates will complete a standard application form and submit a CV
  • BPH will lead on shortlisting applicants with input from the host organisations
  • The host organisations and BPH will interview candidates together to make a decision
What other support will the Placements receive from BPH?

The PROPEL programme includes a range of support, training and development opportunities for the candidates, which will take place before, during and after their time with the host organisation. BPH will provide:

  • Cohort gatherings and evaluation sessions
  • A dedicated external ‘line manager’ to provide regular professional advice and support to ensure the development opportunity is maximised
  • The opportunity to join our other training and development programmes
  • Go & See Funding: individual and cohort trips to see inspiring new work
  • A ‘Make Something Happen’ budget: A contribution of £1000 towards an event or activity managed by the candidate – this could be used to enhance the work they are doing with the Host organisation or be a separate or additional project
Interested? We'd love to hear from you!

If you think this might be right for your organisation, we’d love to have you onboard. To arrange a no-obligation chat drop us an email at and we’ll can arrange a time to discuss the opportunity further.

This programme is kindly supported by:

About Bradford Producing Hub

Founded in 2019, Bradford Producing Hub (BPH) is an arts development organisation that tests radical new approaches to producing work, supporting talent, developing a local arts workforce, and partnering with communities across Bradford to reimagine the city as a thriving creative hub.

BPH supports artists, producers, and small companies through funding, grants, mentoring, training, development, and networking opportunities to establish Bradford as a city that nurtures homegrown talent. 

In 2023, Bradford Producing Hub were appointed as the Cultural Capacity Partner of Bradford 2025, UK City of Culture. 

About Bradford 2025

Bradford 2025 is the organisation delivering the programme of activity for the UK City of Culture 2025. Awarded every four years by Government, the UK City of Culture title has had a transformational impact on previous host cities, securing millions of pounds of investment and acting as a catalyst for creative place-making and culture-led regeneration.

This year, Bradford 2025 is building the foundations of its organisation to be able to deliver a transformational programme of events and activity for (and with) the Bradford district in 2025. Initiatives with key partners are in progress including:

  • a Cultural Capital Grants fund with Bradford Metropolitan District Council. Launched in June, the grants are designed to deliver projects that will increase the cultural infrastructure of the district and enable more people – Bradford residents and visitors, to access and participate in cultural activities during 2025 and beyond
  • a joint design competition with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to source a design for an iconic travelling performance venue

Bradford 2025 is aligned with the Cultural Place Partnership which includes Bradford Council, University of Bradford and other representatives of the cultural sector, alongside national funders; Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Arts Council England, and National Lottery Heritage Fund.

About Jerwood Arts

Jerwood Arts is the leading independent funder dedicated to supporting early-career UK artists, curators and producers to develop and thrive. They enable transformative opportunities for individuals across art forms, supporting imaginative awards, bursaries, fellowships, projects, programmes and commissions. They are committed to supporting artistic freedom of expression and being as inclusive as possible across all their work. Jerwood Arts presents new work and brings people from across the arts together through exhibitions and events at Jerwood Space, London, as well as across the UK and online.

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