GCSE results day options for careers in screen

What next for students who have received their GCSE grades today? Studying at a college or starting an apprenticeship can be the first steps to a rewarding career in the UK’s exciting and booming screen industries.
ScreenSkills has information about the different jobs in film, TV, animation, VFX (visual effects) and games and endorses college courses relevant to a career in the industry with ScreenSkills Select. Read on for more information.

Well done to all those students who have received their GCSE grades today and we hope you have gained the results you wanted - even more so given the huge disruption over the past year and more.

For those still deciding what to do next, studying at a college or starting an apprenticeship will help students take the first steps to a rewarding career in the UK’s exciting and booming screen industries.

There are plenty of college courses available to start in the next few months, including those that are ScreenSkills Select endorsed. The skills shortages in these industries mean that there will be numerous opportunities for you to aim for straight after college or after further study in higher education.

A wide range of different skillsets are required in everything from post-production and accounting to hair and make-up and set design for film and TV, and there are a variety of routes to gain them.

Studying at a college is a popular place to start for you to get the skills needed for these fields, with colleges still currently offering places to start this autumn on both vocational and A level courses. There are courses that provide training specifically for roles in the screen industries, but also other wider STEM and arts subjects that prepare students well for future work in this exciting sector.

ScreenSkills Select-endorsed college courses have been identified as offering a strong preparation for a career in off-screen roles in film, TV, animation, VFX or games by people working in the screen industries either straight after you have left college or after further study.

To be endorsed, the college courses must prove they have both high quality teaching and are also plugged into the world of screen industries by having great links with employers. As well as knowing that you are on an industry-approved course, there are also a number of exclusive benefits that only students on endorsed courses have access to. These will also help you get a career head start.

You can find out more by checking out the courses listed in our ScreenSkills Select course directory.

There are also an increasing number of great apprenticeships available in the screen industries – which you can read more about on our apprenticeships section.

More information about the range of jobs behind the camera in the screen industries (and what qualifications and courses you can take to prepare for them) can be found in our job profiles.

Tim Weiss, Director of Vocational Skills, ScreenSkills, said: “College courses and apprenticeships are a great route for taking the first steps towards a rewarding career in film, TV, animation, VFX or games.

“These industries are emerging strongly from the pandemic and are looking to recruit talented young people who have developed skills, knowledge and experience through the education and training they have received. They are particularly focused on key skill shortage areas and there are plenty of these opportunities at colleges and through apprenticeships.

“Now your GCSE results have arrived, the information we provide at ScreenSkills about endorsed college courses, as well as apprenticeship routes, can help you decide with confidence what vocational qualifications you want to take. This is a booming and exciting field and the UK is a world leader so there is real opportunity to be a success.”

Liz Tagg, Principal of The Iver Make-Up Academy (based in Pinewood Studios), said: “There are great opportunities in the world of screen industries and none more so than in make-up – whether that be for TV, film or in specialist areas such as visual effects. From our own experience, we can testify that studying on a college course, especially those who are Select endorsed like ours, has led to so many brilliant careers. Those receiving their GCSE results today should seriously consider a career in this field of make-up.”

Toby Carter, course leader for the Level 3 Broadcast Production Assistant/Level 3 Junior Content Producer Apprenticeships at Cirencester College, said: “There has never been a better time to join the screen industries and starting an apprenticeship is a great choice for taking your first steps down this career path. This is even more so, when studying on a ScreenSkills Select-endorsed course like ours as students are assured of a great education and also have the best opportunities of progressing in the broadcast industry.”

Alan Hardcastle, course leader for Bridgwater and Taunton College’s Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production, said: “Now GCSE results have arrived, we still have places on our successful and established course designed for those who have an interest in film, radio, television, interactive media or journalism. As we are a ScreenSkills-endorsed course, we have proved we have lots of great connections with local employers which give students confidence they have great opportunities to go on to enjoy a successful media-related career.”

We offer similar advice to those who received their A-level or other vocational qualifications on Tuesday.


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