Acclaimed screen placement programme expands to meet demand

The acclaimed ScreenSkills Trainee Finder programme which places trainees on feature films, high-end television and children’s TV is increasing recruitment for 2019 to meet demand.

The programme, which has forged a strong reputation for delivering new recruits from a wide range of backgrounds to the industry, will double recruitment to 150 candidates for film and increase the numbers in high-end television from 80 to 120.

Films which have taken ScreenSkills Trainee Finder trainees in the past include Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Peterloo, Stan and Ollie, and Lady Macbeth.

Participating high-end TV dramas have included Bodyguard, No Offence, A Very English Scandal, Peaky Blinders, Game of Thrones and Outlander. Trainees have also been placed on children's shows such as Millie Inbetween and Class Dismissed.

Applications open today (12 November) for the 2019-20 intake, offering paid opportunities for work placements across the UK in either film or high-end TV drama.

Film Trainee Finder is looking for trainees who are passionate about a career in the following departments and grades: art department, assistant director, camera, costume, edit, hair and make-up, locations, production accountants, production office (suitable for aspiring production managers), production sound (location) and video assist departments.

High-end TV Trainee Finder is seeking trainees in the following departments and grades: art department, camera, costume, post-production (editorial), floor runner, hair and make-up, locations, sound (location) and production office runners.

Kaye Elliott, Director of High-end Television, said: “We have worked really hard via our extensive outreach work to ensure the programme is inclusive and accessible. One of the successes of the scheme has been that as so many productions want to be involved, we are able to offer opportunities to candidates across a wide range of skills shortage areas, based across the UK.  Everyone benefits – the trainees, the productions and the long-term success of television production.”

Gareth Ellis-Unwin, Head of Film, said: “From studio blockbusters to independents, we work with some of the biggest names in film as well as those making debut features to make sure that Trainee Finder trainees add genuine value to the production while receiving invaluable experience. It’s an incredibly accessible scheme – only two written references are required – and we are immensely proud of the programme’s excellent diversity and inclusion statistics to date. It’s a powerful message of support that industry is increasingly keen to engage with a programme that now has a strong track record of delivery.”

Howard Ella, Joint Head of Production, Mammoth Screen, said: “As a regular supporter of the Trainee Finder scheme we have had many successful trainees placed on some of the UK’s biggest dramas including Victoria and Poldark. We are proud to introduce new talent to the industry through a structured traineeship that has seen so many of our trainees go on to develop a career in the television industry.”

Georgina Lowe, producer on Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, said: “I think placing trainees is really crucial because there’s a lot of production happening - which is a great situation to be in - but we must maintain the quality of what the UK can offer and make sure it’s not just people from London who know someone. I consider it value for money tremendously.”

Cei Frampton, ScreenSkills sound trainee on Ready Player One and Wonder Woman said: "You learn so much by being on set working alongside industry professionals. This first-hand experience has been invaluable to my development. It felt like I was part of the crew, part of the team and I've learnt more in the last year than I did at university. One of the highlights was finding myself doing some booming while standing right next to Steven Spielberg."

Rosa Nolan Warren, ScreenSkills art department trainee on Stan Lee's Lucky Man said: "Getting on Trainee Finder for high-end TV was like giving me a key to a locked door, it’s brought momentum and focus to my career, my placement has taught me so many things that I can take forward and the support of everyone at ScreenSkills has given me a new confidence. While my placement has given me specific art department skills, the training offered by ScreenSkills has equipped me with really valuable industry skills. It’s been the perfect springboard and it’s only up from here.”

Criteria for applicants

The programme particularly welcomes applications from under-represented groups and has a strong record in finding and supporting candidates from a wide range of backgrounds.

Successful applicants on the 2017-2018 Film Trainee Finder were 66% women, 60% from outside London and 20% from a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background and for High-end TV Trainee Finder 79% were women, 67% from outside London and 20% black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME).

All productions that contribute to the industry skills funds, commonly known as the levies, are eligible to take trainees who may take on more than one placement during their year on the programme.

We encourage applications from people at the start of their screen career. They require two references but do not require a university degree. There is no upper age limit, making it open to applications from people seeking to transfer their skills from other sectors to film or TV.

All successful applicants are required to take part in an induction that includes health and safety training, set etiquette and managing yourself as a freelancer, which equips all trainees with skills and understanding prior to being placed on a production. Applicants should apply for a place on either the film or TV scheme (not both).

Applications are open from 12 November to 7 December. Full information at

For more information, please contact Louise Jury, Mike Storey or Elisabeth ten Cate in the communications team on 020 7713 9800

Note to editors: ScreenSkills, formerly known as Creative Skillset, is the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen industries - animation, film, games, television including children's TV and high-end drama, VFX and immersive technology. We work across the whole of the country to ensure that UK screen has access now, and in the future, to the skills and talent needed for continued s

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