Become a Trainee Finder trainee

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

Cursed © 2020 Netflix Inc / Robert Viglasky

What is Trainee Finder?

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

Throughout the year, trainees have the opportunity to apply for placements in their chosen department on UK 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 children's TV or animation, 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.

“I didn’t actually know anyone in the industry. ScreenSkills gave me that step up.”

Sophia Mascarenhas, former Trainee Finder hair and make-up trainee on the film 1917

“I don't think I would have come this far and learnt so much of it weren't for ScreenSkills. For a lad from the West Midlands to be doing what I'm doing is just great.”

Alex Rhule-Martin, sound trainee on high-end dramas My Name is Leon and The Girl Before

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 including No Time to Die, Jurassic World: Dominion, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Matilda, Benediction, The Lost King, Mothering Sunday, The Railway Children Return, Tuesday, Persuasion, The Origin and Men, on TV dramas such as Sex Education, Shetland, Line of Duty, Peaky Blinders, The Crown, Killing Eve, The Pursuit of Love and All Creatures Great and Small and children's TV including My Mum Tracy Beaker, Molly & Mack  and Andy and The Band.

High-end TV refers to big-budget television content and major drama productions (eg Line of Duty, Killing Eve or The Crown) 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 and from the deaf and disabled community. In 2020/22, candidates selected for Film Trainee Finder were 71% women, 62% from outside London, 24% Black, Asian and minority ethnic, 16% LGBT and 9% deaf and disabled.

The 2021 recruitment for the animation programme  has now closed, but film and HETV Trainee Finder opens for applications on Thursday 28 October 2021 and closes at 23:59 on Sunday 5 December. Search for Trainee Finder in our Training and Opportunities directory for the HETV or film application form. You cannot apply for both. The applications for the two areas will only be visible when the scheme is open.