Support a trainee

Productions that contribute to the appropriate industry skills fund - commonly known as levies - have exclusive access to ScreenSkills' pool of young, talented trainees.

A Little Drummer Girl © Ink Factory Films

Trainee Finder is an entry-level placement scheme which places trainees on film, children's live-action TV and high-end TV productions to ensure a continued supply of a new generation of talent, capable of world-class creative content. Trainees become part of an industry-recognised group of trainees, receiving exclusive access to training placements.

Trainees have been placed on films including Wonder Woman, Jurassic World, God's Own Country and Lady Macbeth and high-end TV dramas such as Peaky Blinders, Poldark, Game of Thrones, Outlander, Dr Foster and Derry Girls. Children's productions taking trainees include The Worst Witch, Millie Inbetween, Creeped Out, Class Dismissed and Joe All Alone

Taking trainees through Trainee Finder enables you to claim funding from ScreenSkills for part of the duration of the trainees' time on the production. In order to take on Trainee Finder trainees on your production, you must be a paying member of either the Film Skills Fund, High-end TV Skills Fund or Children's TV Skills Fund.

Taking trainees through Film Trainee Finder enables film productions to claim back £300 per week of a trainee’s salary for up to seven trainees per production, with a placement lasting anytime between four weeks and 24 weeks (six months). 

Taking trainees through High-end TV Trainee Finder enables TV productions to claim back £300 per week of a trainee’s salary for up to 40 weeks (ScreenSkills suggest that this support is spread across up to three trainees, i.e three x 13 weeks). 

Taking trainees through High-end TV or Children’s TV Trainee Finder enables children’s TV productions to take on three trainees for up to 12 weeks each, and claim back £250 per week of a trainee’s salary.

Film Trainee Finder FAQs

How does a production access Trainee Finder?
By contributing to the Film Skills Fund by contacting Lauren Grace Bergin who will be able to provide you with further information and links to the fund contribution point.

How does ScreenSkills support productions in relation to Trainee Finder?
By subsidising productions at £300 per trainee per week of the agreed salary for each trainee taken from the programme and having a database of UK wide trainees that can be selected for placements.

Which departments does Film Trainee Finder cover?
Productions can access trainees in the production office, assistant director, locations, sound (location), camera, video assist, editorial, art department, costume and wardrobe, hair and make-up and accounts departments.

How does the production claim £300 per week of the funds?
The production invoices ScreenSkills at the end of the trainee’s placement. Funding of the agreed amount can be provided once the production has submitted, signed and returned all the necessary paperwork for ScreenSkills’s records.

Is there a time limit to the duration of a placement?
The minimum duration of placement is four weeks and the maximum period is 24 weeks.

How is the trainee selected?
The production has access to CVs for pre-selected trainees who have been given a place on the annually run scheme and have taken part in a three-day set ready induction. The production contacts the trainee directly to arrange an interview/find out more details. Once a trainee has been selected, please contact ScreenSkills to complete the relevant paperwork.

Is there a maximum number of trainees per production?
Productions can take on up to seven trainees.

What paperwork does ScreenSkills issue?
A contract is issued between ScreenSkills and the production. The production will need to issue the trainee with their own fixed-term crew contract that covers their terms and conditions, dates, location, expenses allowance, overtime rate (if applicable) and the allocated supervisor’s contact details. The allocated supervisor and trainee will also complete a ScreenSkills training plan, in which they set out their objectives for the duration of the placement and can track their development.

How does the production pay the trainee?
By payroll as the trainee is contracted via a fixed-term contract.

What does the production need to do in relation to the placement?
The production allocates a named supervisor to support the trainee and provides the contact details of the supervisor to ScreenSkills. The supervisor has regular reviews with the trainee and completes the training plan. The supervisor’s role is to be the point of contact and guidance for the trainee and support their own production training needs.

How does Trainee Finder support the trainee?
Our pool of film trainees are selected annually due to their experience and desire to work in their chosen department. They are eligible to join the scheme after providing two testimonials and must have less than one year of experience in their chosen department. The trainees are interviewed and selected by some of the best crew in the industry. Past interviewers include Danny Hambrook (sound), Charlotte Walter (costume), Mark Raggett (art dept), Lewis Hume (camera) and Jan Archibald (hair and make-up). Successful trainees are then invited to attend a mandatory induction weekend in which they receive training in set etiquette and how to navigate the industry as a freelancer, among other things. Throughout the year our cohort of trainees now also get access to further support, being offered training in first aid, health and safety, and green sustainability, as well as more personal support with managing finances and mental well-being. Masterclasses from leading HODs will be offered to various grades, as well as visits to eminent suppliers such as ARRI Rental and Angels Costumiers. We are also offering one-to-one pastoral support through a network of regional industry practitioners who are alumni of the scheme and will advise and assist trainees in taking their next steps, wherever they are based in the UK.

Do I need to release a trainee for training courses?
Yes. Trainee Finder organises training courses and events which the trainee is required to attend. Productions will need to ensure that a placed trainee is able to attend the arranged course, ScreenSkills will give as much notice as possible of training dates.

Download these FAQs as a PDF.

High-end TV Trainee Finder FAQs

Which departments do you support?
Our current High-end TV Trainee Finder trainees are ready and available to be placed onto productions that contribute to the High-end TV Skills Fund. Between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020, the trainees will be placed across nine priority grades:

  • Art department
  • Camera
  • Costume
  • Edit
  • Floor runner
  • Hair and make-up
  • Locations
  • Production office runner
  • Sound

We also have trainees who work in factual television.

How does a production access Trainee Finder?
Productions that contribute to the High-end TV Skills Fund can access the Trainee Finder pool of trainees. Please contact Ryan Valmont for further information about contributing to the High-end TV Skills Fund.

How does ScreenSkills support productions in relation to Trainee Finder?
ScreenSkills pays £300 per week towards the salary of each trainee taken from the programme and gives productions access to a database that shows which trainees can be selected for placement, in which department they work and where in the UK they are based.

How do productions claim £300 per week when taking on a trainee?
Productions that take on Trainee Finder trainees invoice ScreenSkills at the end of the placement. Funding will be provided once the production has submitted, signed and returned all the necessary paperwork for our records.

Is there a time limit to the duration of a placement?
The minimum duration of placement is four weeks and the maximum duration is 20 weeks. In total productions can have trainees for a period of 40 weeks.

How are trainees selected?
Productions have access to the CVs of Trainee Finder trainees. Productions can contact trainees directly to arrange an interview or to find out more about them. Once a trainee has been selected, please contact ScreenSkills to complete the relevant paperwork.

Is there a maximum number of trainees per production?
We would ideally like three trainees per production, but it is possible to divide a 40 week allocation of funding from us between more or fewer trainees with agreement from ScreenSkills (i.e. two trainees for 20 weeks each, or four trainees for 10 weeks each).

What paperwork does ScreenSkills issue?
A contract will be issued between ScreenSkills and the production. Additionally the production will need to provide the trainee with their own fixed-term crew contract that covers their terms and conditions, dates, location, expenses allowance and overtime rate and, if applicable, the contact details of their allocated supervisor. The allocated supervisor on the production will also draw up a training plan with the trainee. This plan needs to be sent to the production before the placement starts and we ask all supervisors to complete this in the first two weeks of the trainee being in their team.

How does the production pay the trainee?
By payroll, as the trainee is contracted via a fixed-term contract.

What does the production need to do in relation to the placement?
The production assigns a supervisor to the trainee and provides ScreenSkills with the contact details of the supervisor. The supervisor has regular reviews with the trainee and works with them on their training plan. The supervisor’s role is to be the point of contact and guidance for the trainee and to support them with training needs when they are on production.

How does Trainee Finder support trainees?
Each trainee has been selected by department-specific industry professionals to take part in the scheme. Before starting their first placement, they have also completed the induction to help them be ready for their traineeship. Trainee Finder provides ongoing support for the trainee by providing the details of industry professionals who can answer questions and offer advice when trainees request this. A member of the Trainee Finder team will visit the trainee when on a placement to meet their supervisor and to discuss the aims and objectives of the placement and scheme in general with the trainee, supervisor, heads of department and production contacts. Trainee Finder also organises training courses and events, which can include career planning workshops, Production Safety Passport training, carbon literacy training and emergency first aid at work workshops for trainees to attend during their time on the programme. We ask that all productions release their trainees to take part in this important, compulsory training.

Do productions need to release trainees for training courses?
Yes. Trainee Finder organises training courses and events which the trainee is required to attend. Productions will need to ensure that a placed trainee is able to attend the arranged course. ScreenSkills will give as much notice as possible.

We have a number of trainees from across the UK who are available right now to work on fund-contributing productions within grades including:

  • Art department
  • Camera
  • Costume
  • Edit
  • Floor runner
  • Hair and make-Up
  • Locations
  • Production office runner
  • Film accounts
  • Sound
  • Video assist

To request a film trainee please email Tariq Wahr at tariq.wahr@screenskills.com, to request a high-end TV trainee please email Nicky Ball at: nicky.ball@screenskills.com.

If you would like more information about becoming a trainee yourself please visit the become a trainee page.