Make-up trainee Lana Jenkins on her job in children's TV

Lana Jenkins had not long finished a hair and make-up course when she won a place on ScreenSkills Trainee Finder programme as a make-up trainee.

She had enjoyed some jobs working with music artists at live events and on a couple of short films before the Trainee Finder programme offered her a three-month paid placement in the summer of 2019 on the CBBC sitcom So Awkward being shot in the North West.

She worked in a team including Stephanie Elkins, the make-up supervisor, and hair and make-up artist Helena Betts. “I grew very close to them all and we worked really great as a team,” she said.

“I was working on So Awkward for three months. I was given the responsibility of two main artists throughout, where I would have their calls in the morning and then look after them when I was on set too. I would also help out the make-up team with whatever they needed, as well as keeping our work areas tidy and sorting out paperwork.

 “I loved working on So Awkward, it was truly the most rewarding experience. I valued having the opportunity to learn new skills and develop my current knowledge as a trainee make-up artist, whilst making friends with the lovely cast and crew.”

She said Trainee Finder also helped her build her skills by introducing her to different courses and workshops. “It has also provided me with a support network to turn to if I’m ever in need of any help or queries. Trainee Finder has given me work opportunities that I could not have had without being a part of the scheme, I would 100% recommend it to anyone who is considering applying.”

The best tip she would offer others is this: “Always be a helping hand to your team, having a positive attitude in everything you do.”

Richard Everiss, line producer on So Awkward, said: “For me, children’s drama is the hotbed for discovering future production talent. With a fraction of the budget of HETV, our teams must think quickly and creatively, working across departments, to meet schedules and solve problems to create great TV. For trainees this provides a unique opportunity to understand the whole production process and really get to grips with how their skills contribute to a finished show.

“For production, a fresh, sharp mind is always welcome and a trainee really helps to building the family atmosphere that many children’s shows engender. The trainee provides a chance for heads of department (HoDs) to share their experience and the trainee’s enthusiasm is a positive reminder to us all of how much fun TV can be, whatever the budget or the weather.”

About Trainee Finder

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.

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