First Break

The First Break programme offers individuals a series of accessible non jargon-led industry information events, practical hands-on TV ‘Need to Knows’ training day, paid work shadowing, one-to-one career development and bespoke support.

First Break
Image: Sherlock © Hartswood Films

Since its launch, more than 60 individuals have gained paid taster work experience on 10 high-end TV drama productions.

For productions that have contributed to the High-End TV Skills Fund, First Break will provide:

  • Overall management for the programme run by a local project manager
  • A Want to work in TV? event giving up to 100 local people an opportunity to learn the basics about working in TV and hear first-hand from the production’s crew about their jobs and what they entail
  • A TV ‘Need to Knows’ training day for up to 50 selected participants about what to expect from a job in TV e.g. a typical day, schedule, basics of set etiquette
  • Following the training day, participants will be invited to apply for a three-week (in rotation) paid placement in a broad job role group (technical, creative, organisational) based on their individual preferences (identified when the participant applies)
  • One-to-one pastoral care after the conclusion of the programme, delivering CV clinics, networking support and signposting to further opportunities for the First Breakers.
  • This is offered alongside ongoing UK wide industry expertise to the participants and access to wider funded training delivered by ScreenSkills, including signposting to mentoring programmes and bursaries where appropriate

The partnering broadcaster/ production company will:

  • Cover the paid shadow placement costs (depending on the number of placements offered, as a guide three-week placement per person at national living wage of £9.50 per hour at 40 hours per week as well as travel costs of £5 a day and per diems)
  • Identify a key production contact who will work with the on the on-the-ground project manager for the duration of the project to assist setting up and to oversee the work shadowing
  • Provide in-kind support (in the form of offering available crew to take part in the open evenings and overseeing the shadow placements)

If you are interested in partnering with ScreenSkills to run First Break on your production, please contact Vicki Ball.

"Having access to an opportunity like this on my doorstep, especially on something as prestigious as Emmerdale, is amazing. I was taken in by the crew and not at any moment did I feel intimated or unwelcome. Everyone was super lovely. "

Talhah Lockhart on the HETV First Break programme

First Break case studies

Be inspired by more stories of people who have taken part in the programme

Back to High-end TV Skills Fund