How to become an apprentice

A creative industries apprenticeship offers you on-the-job training and an avenue into the industry. It's a chance to develop your skills, experience and contacts while learning on-the-job.

ScreenSkills does not provide apprenticeships, but read on for information about how apprenticeships work and links to directories of open apprenticeships.

Guerilla © Sky UK Ltd

An apprenticeship is a job combined with training lasting at least 12 months. It’s an ideal opportunity to learn while you earn. The minimum wage depends on your age and isn’t much. But many companies pay above the minimum wage and, of course, once you have qualified your earnings potential will go up.

When you’ve successfully completed your apprenticeship you get a certificate confirming your work-related skills and abilities. Your employer may offer you an ongoing role or you could use your experience to find another job or continue your learning.

What types of screen industry apprenticeships are there?

Screen industry apprenticeships are available in the areas of film, television and visual effects (VFX). As with educational qualifications, there are different levels of apprenticeship available:

  • Level 3 qualifications are equivalent to A Level
  • Level 4 qualifications are equivalent to a BTEC Professional Diploma level
  • Level 5 qualifications are equivalent to HND or a foundation degree level
  • Level 6 qualifications are equivalent to a Bachelor's Degree level
  • Level 7 qualifications are equivalent to a Master's Degree level

Who can apply?

Apprenticeships have different entry requirements, but you must be aged 16 or over and not in full-time education. Don't be put off if you haven't got good GCSE grades in maths and English, this won't disqualify you from getting an apprenticeship. Employers are more interested in your skills, enthusiasm and commitment than your qualifications. They look for genuine interest in the apprentice role along with strong communication skills, creativity and the ability to work well as part of a team.

How can I apply?

You can look for vacancies in a number of ways:

  1. Ask at your local college
  2. Register with the government apprenticeship register
  3. Search on some of the big employers’ apprenticeship websites, such as:
  • BBC applications normally open in March for September starts
  • Google applications normally open twice a year, October and February
  • ITV applications open in May/June for September starts
  • Channel 4 applications open February/March for September starts.

Apprenticeship provisions differ across the UK. Click on the relevant link to get the information you need: EnglandNorthern IrelandScotland and Wales

If you're struggling to find an apprenticeship that suits you, please email: apprenticeships@screenskills.com.

Not sure if an apprenticeship is right for you?

If you already have some creative industry work experience then instead of an apprenticeship you could think about applying for ScreenSkills' Trainee Finder. This scheme matches new talent with film and TV productions that are looking to take on trainees. Trainee Finder opens around December each year.