Become a trainee

Trainees get training and placements on film, high-end TV and children's TV productions.

Baptise © Two Brother Pictures

What is Trainee Finder?

Trainee Finder is a scheme that matches talented individuals with feature films, high-end TV dramas or children's TV productions.

Throughout the year, trainees have the opportunity to apply for placements in their chosen department on UK in productions which pay into the ScreenSkills' skills funds. In addition to placements, they are trained in health and safety, finance for freelancers, carbon literacy, branding and networking. They go to industry masterclasses to improve employability and have the opportunity to find a mentor.

How does Trainee Finder work?

People with a passion and talent for film, high-end TV or children's TV, apply for the Trainee Finder scheme. Successful applicants become part of an industry-recognised group of talented new entrants. 

A production notifies us if they are looking to take on trainees for their production and which departments they are interested in considering trainees for.  We will then inform all relevant trainees of the opportunity. Details of those who are interested will be submitted to the production and the production will then invite any trainees it wishes to meet for an interview.

Since finishing as an assistant editor on Trainee Finder, I’ve worked on Broadchurch, Humans and Death in Paradise. It’s been amazing and I’ve learnt so much and being on Trainee Finder made me realise that editing is the only thing I want to do. I’d urge anyone thinking about applying to be a trainee to take the leap.

Naomi Smallwood, Trainee Finder alumna

All trainees who are engaged via Trainee Finder on a production will be paid at least the national minimum wage, if not the national living wage. This will be paid either weekly or monthly. Trainees spend upwards of four weeks on a production and are required to complete a training plan in which they set objectives to achieve during their time on production with the help of a supervisor within their department, getting to learn and develop their craft through on-the-job training and gaining important contacts to help them find future work.

Please note that once accepted onto Trainee Finder, placements are not guaranteed. You must ensure your CV and ScreenSkills profile are kept up-to-date and keep the Trainee Finder team informed about your availability. We will strive to help you and put you forward for any placements you express interest in, but it's the production that decides who to take on. We recommend that you remain proactive and continue to find your own work and do not rely solely on the scheme.

What productions take part?

ScreenSkills' Trainee Finder has helped place trainees on UK feature films, children's TV and high-end TV dramas across the UK.

Trainees have been placed on films including Wonder Woman, Jurassic World, God's Own Country and Lady Macbeth, on TV dramas such as Peaky Blinders, Poldark, Game of Thrones, Outlander, Dr Foster and Derry Girls, and on children's TV programmes such as The Worst Witch, Horrible Histories, Secret Life of Boys and The A List.

High-end TV refers to big-budget television content and major drama productions (e.g. Sherlock, The Crown or The Night Manager), as opposed to lower budget television such as continuing dramas (Eastenders), reality TV (TOWIE) or other scripted and non-scripted television formats (Crystal Maze).

How do I apply?

To meet the Trainee Finder criteria, you must have less than 12 months' paid work experience in film, children's TV or high-end TV and not be in full-time education. Most importantly, we are looking for bright, talented, enthusiastic individuals who have the passion to forge a career in the screen industry.

ScreenSkills is dedicated to supporting inclusion in the screen industries and encourages applications from new entrants from diverse backgrounds and regions. In 2019/20, candidates selected for Film Trainee Finder were 68% women, 77% from outside London and 21% black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME).

The scheme normally opens for application in November and December.  Search for Trainee Finder in our Training and Opportunities directory for the application form. It will only be visible when the scheme is open.