After graduating from a ScreenSkills-endorsed university course, Kayleigh Miller attended an Open Doors networking event in Birmingham. It was there that she learned about High-end TV Trainee Finder, the new-entrant scheme that would help her enter the art department.
“I really wanted to study TV and film set design,” Kayleigh says. “The University of South Wales offered a course that seemed a great fit for me.” The degree – at the time endorsed by ScreenSkills as teaching practical skills and knowledge wanted by employers - helped her understand the industry better. “It was great that I was able to learn skills that are valued by employers the industry and to be able to do work placements whilst studying. This helped me to gain contacts and allowed me to learn on-the-job while completing my university course work.”
Kayleigh had heard of ScreenSkills at university, so when she saw an ad for a ScreenSkills Open Doors event she was eager to attend. “It was really nice to network with people with an interest in the same areas of the screen industry and to ask professionals about their jobs,” she said. “I also learned about the placement scheme Trainee Finder.”
With some work experience under her belt, including a job on Year of the Rabbit, she applied for High-end TV Trainee Finder in the autumn of 2018. Her application was successful: she was offered a place as art department trainee.
“Trainee Finder has given me a lot more confidence to put myself out there,” Kayleigh says. “I have received a lot of support and truly enjoy how different each job is.” Since joining the scheme, she has completed a placement as graphics trainee on The Third Day (3 Mills Studios) and is now working as art department assistant on a Netflix series that is based in Newport.
In the next couple of years, Kayleigh hopes she’ll be able to continue developing her skills in the art department. Although her degree certainly helped her to prepare for a career in screen, she believes that the Open Doors event and Trainee Finder were necessary to help her put her skills in practice. “Continue to be passionate and motivated to find work,” she advises others. “It’s easy to give up and doubt yourself. It’s a natural feeling, but there is a lot of help and support out there.
ScreenSkills Trainee Finder has placed hundreds of young, talented, creative individuals on film, high-end TV and children's television across the UK. The entry-level placement scheme matches trainees with productions who have paid into the skills investment funds (commonly known as the levies) for on-set and on-the-job training. In return, the production companies can claim back some of the trainee's salary.