Online training and support for HETV Trainee Finder cohort

Behind-the-scenes Killing Eve S3 © BBC/Sid Gentle Ltd

The 2020/21 cohort of High-end TV Trainee Finder is taking part in a specially created online version of the programme, following an online induction held at the end of March.

So far, trainees have been able to participate in Zoom sessions on wellbeing and resilience as well as on finance for freelancers.

Trainer David Thomas said of that session: “Finance skills training for freelancers is always an important part of Trainee Finder. But this year brought a new urgency for the participants: how were they to develop finance skills when work had been cancelled and what help is available for those finding difficulty in paying the bills.”

The workshops are part of a series of training sessions offered during HETV Trainee Finder to help the trainees prepare for successful careers in high-end television. In the next couple of weeks further online sessions on topics including CVs and self-marketing, health and safety, and production essentials will be delivered.

In addition, ScreenSkills also facilitates daily drop-in Zoom meetings so trainees who will be working in the same departments, or are based in the same regions, can get to know each other. Trainees can also use a dedicated Facebook page to network and to find other useful resources, industry masterclasses and learning opportunities.

To provide additional support, ScreenSkills has also partnered with counsellor Sarah McCaffrey of Solas Mind to offer confidential one-to-one support to trainees to help them navigate these challenging times.  

All of this support is also being offered to trainees from last years’ Trainee Finder programme, many of whom were about to start work on productions when lockdown hit.

Talking about the online programme so far, London-based sound trainee Ifé Ojo said: “I had my eye on Trainee Finder for quite some time because it seemed like it was everything I was looking for and since being on it, they have provided several opportunities to develop vital skills, network, develop personal management/finance techniques, and even give us the opportunity to attend online masterclasses during a global pandemic. The sense of online community is both reassuring and fulfilling.”

Art department trainee Vicky Owens, who is based in the North West, said: “I have found the online training to be comprehensive and easy to follow, with additional support supplied by the speakers to be very useful. ScreenSkills has also suggested a wide variety of online broadcasts that have expanded my understanding to what would be expected of me in my chosen role as art department trainee.”

London-based camera trainee Juliette Carton said: “Despite a strange start to what was meant to be a very hands-on year, the HETV Trainee Finder team have kept us all busy and well-informed during this time. The sessions so far, including finance and mental health video calls, have been extremely beneficial and have enabled the trainees to feel like we are all in this ‘together’ at the moment.”

Sound trainee Monica Bannon, from Belfast, said: "Trainee Finder has found a way! In the middle of a pandemic, ScreenSkills still manages to provide me with an impressive array of industry-led seminars, courses and a really brilliant welcoming support system. I can honestly say I’m proud to be on this scheme."


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