Become a trainee

If you are successful in your application to become a trainee, you will join the year-long Trainee Finder scheme for film or high-end TV, becoming part of an industry-recognised group of talented new entrants.

Trainee Alex Crowley on Early Man © Scott Norris, STUDIOCANAL/BFI 2017

ScreenSkills' Trainee Finder has helped place trainees on UK feature films, children's TV and high-end TV dramas across the UK.

High-end TV refers to big-budget television content and major drama productions (e.g. Sherlock, The Crown or The Night Manager), as opposed to lower budget television such as continuing dramas (Eastenders), reality TV (TOWIE) or other scripted and non-scripted television formats (Crystal Maze).

Trainees have been placed on films including Wonder Woman, Jurassic World, God's Own Country and Lady Macbeth, and on TV dramas such as Peaky Blinders, Poldark, Game of Thrones, Outlander, Dr Foster and Derry Girls.

ScreenSkills is dedicated to supporting inclusion in the screen industries and encourages applications from new entrants from diverse backgrounds and regions. In 2017/18, candidates selected for the Film Trainee Finder were 66% women, 60% from outside London and 20% black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME). 

How does Trainee Finder work?

If you are successful in your application to become a trainee, you will join the year-long Trainee Finder scheme for film or high-end TV, becoming part of an industry-recognised group of talented new entrants. Trainees on the high-end TV scheme may also be placed on children's TV productions.

Throughout the year, you can access placements in your chosen department on feature films, high-end TV dramas or children's TV programmes shot across the UK in productions which pay into the ScreenSkills' skills funds. In addition to carrying out placements, you will be required to attend training events including health and safety, finance for freelancers, carbon literacy, branding and networking as well as industry masterclasses to improve your employability in the industry. Trainees also can gain access to an industry mentor.

Since finishing as an assistant editor on Trainee Finder, I’ve worked on Broadchurch, Humans and Death in Paradise. It’s been amazing and I’ve learnt so much and being on Trainee Finder made me realise that editing is the only thing I want to do. I’d urge anyone thinking about applying to be a trainee to take the leap.

Naomi Smallwood, Trainee Finder alumna

A production notifies us if they are looking to take on trainees for their production and which departments they are interested in considering trainees for.  We will then inform all relevant trainees of the opportunity. Details of those who are interested will be submitted to the production and the production will then invite any trainees it wishes to meet for an interview.

All trainees who are engaged via Trainee Finder on a production will be paid at least the national minimum wage, if not the national living wage. This will be paid either weekly or monthly. Trainees spend upwards of four weeks on a production and are required to complete a training plan in which they set objectives to achieve during their time on production with the help of a supervisor within their department, getting to learn and develop their craft through on-the-job training and gaining important contacts to help them find future work.

Please note that once accepted onto Trainee Finder, placements are not guaranteed. You must ensure your CV and Hiive profile are kept up-to-date and keep the Trainee Finder team informed about your availability. We will strive to help you and put you forward for any placements you express interest in, but which trainees are selected is ultimately the decision of the production. We recommend that you remain proactive and continue to find your own work and do not rely solely on the scheme.

Who can apply?

To meet the Trainee Finder criteria, you must have less than 12 months' paid work experience in film, children's TV or high-end TV and not be in full-time education. Most importantly, we are looking for bright, talented, enthusiastic individuals who have the passion to forge a career in the screen industry.

How do I apply?

Trainee Finder is currently closed for applications. Recruitment will begin again in late 2019.