Animation Trainee Finder 2021-22

30 Oct 2021, 00:00 - 30 Oct 2022, 00:00
Application deadline
27 Sep 2021

ScreenSkills Animation Trainee Finder is an entry-level placement scheme which places trainees on animation productions to ensure a continued supply of talent capable of making world-class creative animated content. 

Participants become part of an industry-recognised group of trainees and receive exclusive access to training placements across the UK and will be matched with an industry mentor.

This is the first year that we are able to offer this programme with the support of UK animation productions that have paid into the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund. (A previous version of the programme was supported by Creative Skillset, the skills body that preceded ScreenSkills.) Places will be made available for up to 20 trainees for the inaugural year of the new programme. 

Animation Trainee Finder 2021-22 is now open for applications and is seeking trainees wanting to pursue a career in animation, particularly focusing on entry-level roles in the departments where there are identified shortage roles, namely animator, storyboard artist and rigger, and the much in demand entry-level role of production coordinator.

To find out more about the roles mentioned, please explore the ScreenSkills job profiles.

The programme is supported by ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund with contributions from UK animation productions. With the support of our colleagues in film and high-end TV, the programme was trialled by placing trainees on productions Circle Square and Kensuke’s Kingdom.


We are looking for talented individuals from across the UK who have less than 12 months of paid experience in the animation industry. You must be able to clearly demonstrate a passion and commitment for a career in animation by providing evidence of one or more of the following:

  • working on previous productions including short films
  • looking for/finding work experience
  • role-specific skills

To be eligible you must:

  • be 18 or over
  • live in the UK and have evidence of the right to work in the UK
  • have completed full-time education by 30 August 2021 – please note you do not need a university degree to apply
  • have less than 12 months’ relevant, paid experience in the animation industry
  • make yourself available for placements offered to you during your time on the scheme
  • be open and flexible to consider opportunities across the UK
  • demonstrate an interest in and commitment to the animation industry and working in the roles identified
  • provide a showreel/portfolio that demonstrates your skills and experience

Please note:

  • Any training will be subject to the applicants providing evidence of their right to remain in the UK. Failure to provide appropriate documentation may result in the training placement being withdrawn
  • All successful applicants must attend a mandatory two-day, online induction weekend on 30 and 31 October 2021 in preparation for the scheme. Further details will be announced closer to the time.

ScreenSkills is committed to diversity and equality of opportunity in all aspects of its work.

We particularly welcome applications from those who identify as being from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background, because we are committed to creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce, and this demographic is currently under represented across the animation industry.

In Animation UK’s 2019 report Inclusion in the UK VFX, Animation and Post-Production Sector, it evidences that only 14% of the workforce is from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background, and in priorities for action it is noted that bringing more people from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background into creative roles is one of the most urgent priorities for the industry.


FAQs about the programme

What experience do I need to have to apply?

You need to be able to demonstrate that you have experience of animation, which your showreel or portfolio should evidence. We will be judging applications based on the skills you demonstrate in animating, storyboard art, rigging and production coordination, whether it be in 2D, 3D or stop motion. We will also consider the experience you have had to date, which can include personal projects or paid productions and not necessarily paid work experience.

Do I need to have a formal qualification to apply?

You do not need to have a formal qualification, such as a degree in animation, to apply to the programme. If you are still in full-time education, you are not eligible to apply.

Do I need to supply a showreel or portfolio and two letters of recommendation?

You do need to supply both a link to a showreel or portfolio and two letters of recommendation to be considered for the scheme.

Are the placements paid?

Once you have been interviewed by a production company and been offered a placement, the production company will take you on as an employee and pay you a salary set by the company at a rate at or above National Minimum Wage. You may be placed on up to three productions during the programme for periods of between four and 40 weeks dependent on the production.

What roles might I be expected to take on?

The roles you will be offered will all be entry-level and dependent on the needs of the production. The role may be offered as a junior animator/assistant animator, a storyboard artist assistant/revisionist, junior rigger, production coordinator or production assistant for example. You will learn the skills for the role on the job with the support of the production company.

What will I need to share with ScreenSkills if I am successful in securing a place? 

  • You will need to share with us a two-page CV at the start of the programme.
  • You will need to sign an offer letter agreeing to the terms of the programme.
  • You will need to fill in an online form to be matched with a mentor.
  • You will need to share evidence of your right to live and work in the UK for the duration of the programme.

What is the schedule for Trainee Finder?

  • 1 September – recruitment opens
  • 27 September – recruitment closes
  • 8 October – candidates will be notified if they are invited to interview
  • 29 October – successful candidates will be notified if they have been selected
  • 30 & 31 October – induction bootcamp online
  • 1 November – productions will begin reviewing candidates for placements
  • 7 December – zoom meeting with mentoring team in advance of being matched with mentor
  • Spring/Summer 2022 – networking event
  • 30 October 2022 – Trainee Finder 21/22 programme ends

How to apply

You will need to have a ScreenSkills account to apply for Trainee Finder. If you do not already have an account, you can register here.

You will need to provide:

To apply for Animation Trainee Finder, click on the 'apply' button above.

Deadline for applications: 9am, Monday 27 September 2021.

Letters of recommendation

You are required to submit two letters that demonstrate how you are committed to the animation industry, your skills, and why you would be an asset.

One of the letters must be from a current or past employer, or a tutor or academic, and must be supplied on headed paper. 

They should be no longer than one page of A4 and should include the following:

  • a paragraph or sentence that explains how they know you e.g. are they a colleague, employer or former employer?
  • details of how long the referee has known you
  • what are the qualities, characteristics and capabilities they feel are important to highlight to us?
  • any other supporting examples of your skills, accomplishments and/or work that demonstrate that you are a good candidate for the scheme
  • current contact details (email and telephone) for the referee so that we can contact them.

Judging information

The Trainee Finder team will shortlist applicants based on their application. Successful applicants will be invited to take part in an interview, which will probably take place Zoom or telephone, with a member of the Trainee Finder team and a relevant industry professional.

If unsuccessful in getting to interview stage, please note that due to the volume of applications we receive, we will be unable to provide individual feedback.

We anticipate that all candidates who will be asked to attend an interview will be notified by 8 October 2021. All interviewed candidates will be notified of the success of their application by 29 October 2021. 

ScreenSkills is an equal opportunities training provider. All applicants are judged solely on their ability to do the placement for which they are applying. However, where applicants are equally qualified, in order to address under-representation in the industry, we may consider the applicants’ ethnicity to determine who should be appointed. We consider that this positive action would be a proportionate means of achieving our legitimate aim, namely, to improve diversity in the industry, and is compliant with the Equality Act 2010.

In order that we can comply with our reporting obligations, that we can appropriately monitor our data, and to inform our recruitment decisions in relation to positive action (described above), you are requested to provide the information, which will be treated in the strictest confidence. 



ScreenSkills develops skills and talent to support the UK's screen industries.

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