Two gifted young people working in Leeds-based arts organisations have had their achievements recognised at the prestigious Creative & Cultural Skills Awards 2016.

At an awards ceremony in Essex on Wednesday 2 March, it was announced that April Skipp (23), Marketing & Development Intern at Yorkshire Dance, is this year’s winner of the 2016 Intern of the Year Award.

Emily Kitchen, Workshop Apprentice at West Yorkshire Playhouse, was also one of three young people shortlisted for the Apprentice of the Year Award.

The awards celebrate paid interns and apprentices working in the creative and cultural industries who have shown exceptional commitment and ambition to learn new skills.

April, who graduated in ‘Art, Event, Performance’ in 2014 from Leeds Metropolitan University, and Emily, were the only Yorkshire-based young people among the six shortlisted for these Creative & Cultural Skills Awards 2016, which were judged by leading employers in the creative industries.

Antony Dunn, Marketing & Communications Manager at Yorkshire Dance, says, “April is one of four paid interns we’ve employed, alongside two paid apprentices, through the Creative Employment programme supported by Arts Council England, and we’re very proud indeed of her achievement, only half-way through her year-long internship.

“We’re passionately committed to employing paid interns and apprentices. It allows us to contribute to the workforce development of the arts sector, and offer valuable professional development opportunities to gifted young people at a stage in their lives when they most need some help onto the career ladder. When April leaves us, she’ll be a very well-qualified arts professional, with a fantastic career ahead of her.”

April herself says, “Over the last six months Yorkshire Dance has provided me with a wealth of training, whilst at the same time giving me the freedom to develop my own ideas and make an impact. I owe a huge thank you to Antony Dunn and the rest of the team who have given me excellent guidance and support throughout my internship. I am delighted to have won and excited to see what the future holds!”