ScreenSkills launches Animation Trainee Finder to address skills shortages with new inclusive talent

The Snail and the Whale © Magic Light Pictures Ltd 2019

ScreenSkills Animation Trainee Finder, an entry-level paid placement programme, is being launched by the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Council with the support of UK animation productions that have paid into the Animation Skills Fund.

Open to candidates who are 18+ with up to 12 months' paid experience in animation,  Animation Trainee Finder will provide 20 trainees with up to three placements on 2D, 3D and stop motion productions across the UK to gain a variety of experience over the course of a year.

Trainees will also receive an industry mentor, networking opportunities and insight into the industry through an intensive weekend bootcamp.

There will be a particular focus on roles identified as shortage areas - animator, storyboard artist, rigger and production coordinator - aimed at ensuring a continued supply of talent capable of making world-class creative animated content.

Applications will be particularly welcomed from Black, Asian or minority ethnic candidates because they are currently under-represented in the animation workforce.

This initiative will extend the Trainee Finder programme, which has run successfully for some years in high-end and children's television and film, to animation. A previous version of Trainee Finder was delivered by Creative Skillset, the skills body that preceded ScreenSkills.

All Trainee Finder placements are subsidised by the Animation Skills Fund for the participating production company. Productions interested in taking trainees  should contact Abigail Addison, ScreenSkills' animation production liaison executive. 

Tom Box, Animation Skills Council Chair and Co-founder and Managing Director of Blue Zoo Animation Studio, said: " Trainee Finder will give successful candidates who have already embarked on their animation career the opportunity to gain further experience with different companies on a ScreenSkills programme that has already built a strong reputation with other parts of the industry.

“It is one of a range of ways in which the animation sector is working to open up the sector to a greater diversity of talent and address skills shortages."

You can read about the experience of Rebecca Hardess, who participated in last year’s pilot for the new Animation Trainee Finder programme with the pre-school show Circle Square.

Ryan Jones, who has built a career in animation since working for Fettle Animation on the previous iteration of the Animation Trainee Finder programme under Creative Skillset, also discusses the impact of it on his career.

A new junior animator apprenticeship standard, coordinated by ScreenSkills with support from the BFI, awarding National Lottery funds, will begin recruitment in October for candidates with no relevant experience or qualifications in animation. Apprenticeships would start in the new year.


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