HETV Trainee Finder 2020 underway

The successful applicants from 1,452 applications to the High-end TV Trainee Finder programme have begun their training this week with specially-designed inductions online in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

A total of 112 trainees were chosen by panels including industry professionals after interviews held across the UK in  Edinburgh, Leeds, Cardiff, Belfast, London, Manchester and Bristol over two months .  They join ScreenSkills’ flagship paid placement programme for new entrants.

Leeds-based producer Rebecca Davies was involved in the recruitment . She said: "I really enjoy meeting all the potential trainees during the interview process of ScreenSkills Trainee Finder each year. It's important to me to get to know as many new entry level crew as I can from all departments and disciplines uncovering their talent and discovering what they really want from their career in one of the best, and sometimes toughest, industries. Seeing them flourish on the scheme and then start to make their mark is not just simply rewarding, it is vital. To keep our industry alive we must continue to attract and train the most committed and talented young people to work in television and film production in the UK to produce critically acclaimed drama recognised and viewed world wide."

David Stafford, 1st AD, also helped selecting this years' cohort and said: "I have now been involved in the recruitment of new floor runners for two years and it is a fantastic opportunity to find new people who are keen to get involved in the industry. I have also taken trainees onto big shoots and seen firsthand how successful the scheme can be."

Steven Gardner, a 1st AC who helped selecting camera trainees, commented: "Being part of the trainee recruitment process has been a daunting privilege. So many excellent applicants made it very hard to choose - I wanted to accept them all!”

Nicky Ball, ScreenSkills HETV senior new entrant manager, said: “It is fantastic to be able to bring trainees together virtually even if not in person. We are absolutely invested in making their Trainee Finder experience exactly what they hoped for and will be pulling out all the stops to give them insight and expertise so they can hit the ground running once production gets back underway.”

After this week’s inductions, further online training will include essentials such as managing finance and mental health first aid and stress management as well as online masterclasses and other activity.

In HETV, this will include:

  • One-to-one sessions for every trainee offering mental health support and career development
  • Bringing trainees together by department and geographical location, through the online platform Zoom to network virtually create a space to chat and ask questions of the HETV team and each other
  • Industry masterclasses with heads of department and senior crew
  • CV and careers advice
  • Branding and self-marketing  to learn how to be ready to promote themselves when production returns.

Targeted support will be supplemented by online drop—in sessions for the trainees to raise concerns and seek any necessary help.

Although the first planned induction in film went ahead in Leeds, all subsequent inductions are being run online.

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