White Light Ltd, Employer of the Year

White Light Ltd won the Employer of the Year Award at the Creative & Cultural Skills Awards 2019. We spoke to Sandra Tyler, Head of Human Resources and Chris Nicholls, Health and Safety and Workforce Director about the work that they do, and what makes them such great creative employers.
White Light Ltd have been running their apprentice scheme for years - they say investing in the future is vital for the sector

Tell me a bit about White Light Ltd.

White Light is the complete technical solution specialist offering a range of services including lighting, audio, video, rigging and staging to events of all sizes across the UK, Europe and worldwide.

Founded in 1971, we started life in London’s West End, providing lighting technology on several shows that would become international successes. Whilst we still work in theatre, we have diversified significantly in recent years and now work in a range of markets including corporate events, broadcast, leisure, education, retail and worship. We are also the only production-approved supplier at Historic Royal Palaces along with being the in-house AV supplier at Claridge’s, Illuminate and Mermaid London as well as the Production Service Partner at Central Hall Westminster.

We are based in Wimbledon, South-West London where we employ more than 250 members of staff and annually invest £3 million in the latest technology. We also have an on-site state-of-the-art studio facility, Studio15, which is available for client use, demonstrations and pre-rigging.

What do you enjoy most about working for White Light Ltd?

There is an ingrained sense of sharing knowledge, creativity and expertise. That attracts passionate and talented people to us who know the industry but we also work hard to spread that knowledge and passion to those who don’t quite understand the breadth of what we do and the opportunities that there are.

The founder of the business is still our Chair and some of our staff have stayed with us for over thirty years, it is like working for a friendly, family business even though we are a Ltd Company.

Some of our staff have stayed with us for over thirty years - it is like working for a friendly, family business

Our offices are open plan and our executives sit with the staff. The office and warehouse staff also share rest areas and flow freely throughout the building; this develops an open, creative and collaborative work environment as well as speedy decision making and problem solving - there is never a dull day.

Is White Light Ltd working on or developing any new projects at the moment?

We have just revisited our Diversity and Inclusion policy as part of wider Equalities policy. After some Ofsted research we are connecting with even more education partners, within our radius, to widen our reach in spreading information to an even younger and more diverse cohort of pupils, and parents!

We want these prospective employees to be aware of our growing industry and of the opportunities, through apprenticeships, work placements and training, of the rewarding and well paid jobs in the sector. We have also joined other sector employers and signed up to Stage Sight; making sure we support, review and promote an off stage workforce that is more reflective of our society today, inclusive of ethnicity, class and disability.

How did it feel to win the Employer of the Year award?

We're so very proud of all the effort that all our staff put into our apprentice scheme, the apprentices' passion and hard work as well as all the time taken for work placements and tours we undertake to encourage people into our sector; it truly is a team effort.

We mustn’t forget our staff are also excellent in training and sharing knowledge with all new employees, from all backgrounds and ages. This is what makes it truly a great place to work.

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