Support a trainee

Productions that contribute to the appropriate industry skills fund - commonly known as levies - have exclusive access to ScreenSkills' pool of  talented trainees.

A Little Drummer Girl © Ink Factory Films

Trainee Finder is an entry-level placement scheme which places trainees on film, children's live-action TV,  high-end TV and animation productions to ensure a continued supply of a new generation of talent, capable of world-class creative content. Trainees become part of an industry-recognised group of trainees, receiving exclusive access to training placements.

Trainees have been placed on films including Wonder Woman, Jurassic World, God's Own Country and Lady Macbeth and high-end TV dramas such as Peaky Blinders, Killing Eve, Derry Girls, Sex Education, The Nest and Avenue 5. Children's productions taking trainees include  So Awkward, Get Even, Molly & Mack, The Demon Headmaster and The Secret Life of Boys.

Taking trainees through Trainee Finder enables you to claim funding from ScreenSkills for part of the duration of the trainees' time on the production. In order to take on Trainee Finder trainees on your production, you must be a paying member of either the Film Skills Fund, High-end TV Skills Fund or Children's TV Skills Fund.

Taking trainees through Film Trainee Finder enables film productions to claim up to £300 per week of a trainee’s salary with a placement lasting anytime between four and 24 weeks. The total financial contribution depends on several factors, including the budget of the film.

Taking trainees through High-end TV Trainee Finder enables TV productions to claim back £300 per week of a trainee’s salary for up to 40 weeks (ScreenSkills suggest that this support is spread across up to three trainees, i.e three x 13 weeks). 

Taking trainees through Children’s TV Trainee Finder enables children’s TV productions to take on three trainees for up to 12 weeks each, and claim back £250 per week of a trainee’s salary.

Film Trainee Finder FAQs

What is Trainee Finder
Trainee Finder is an entry-level paid placement scheme which places trainees on productions to ensure a continued supply of a new generation of talent, capable of world-class creative content.

How does a production access Trainee Finder?
Productions contributing to the Film Skills Fund are eligible to take on Film Trainee Finder trainees.  Please contact Rebecca Hanser at rebecca.hanser@screenskills.com for more information about paying into the Film Skills Fund.

How does ScreenSkills select Trainee Finder trainees?
Our pool of film trainees is selected annually based on their experience and desire to work in their chosen department. Applicants must provide two testimonials and are interviewed and selected by some of the best crew in the industry.

Extensive outreach, and fair selection processes, mean that the pool of trainees applying to the scheme, and therefore selected for Trainee Finder, are diverse and inclusive.

Which departments does Film Trainee Finder cover?

  • Accounts
  • Art department
  • Assistant Director
  • Camera
  • Costume and wardrobe
  • Editorial
  • Hair and make-up
  • Locations
  • Production office
  • Sound (location)
  • Video assist
  • VFX

Trainee Finder is an entry level programme, so trainees have no more than a year’s experience in that department working on feature films when they join the scheme.

Is there a time limit to the duration of a placement? 
The minimum duration of a placement is four weeks, and the maximum period is 24 weeks.

How is the trainee selected for a production? 
We have a database of trainees based across the UK who are available for placement in a variety of departments. Following discussion with the production, ScreenSkills provide CVs for pre-selected trainees who have been given a place on Trainee Finder and who have taken part in a set ready induction. The production contacts the trainee directly to arrange an interview/find out more details. Once a trainee has been selected, please contact ScreenSkills to complete the relevant paperwork. We would highly recommend that trainees are confirmed as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Who employs and pays the trainees?
The production employs the trainees on a fixed term contract and they are paid through the production payroll.

Can ScreenSkills make a financial contribution to trainee wages?
ScreenSkills can contribute up to a maximum of £300 per week towards the salary of a trainee for a standard five-day week.

How much should a production pay the trainees?
Productions should pay no less than £110 per day (£550 per week) and abide by all relevant legislation.

Is there a limit to the financial contribution ScreenSkills can make?
Yes, this will depend on several factors, including the budget of the film.

What paperwork does ScreenSkills issue? 
A contract is issued between ScreenSkills and the production. The production will issue the trainee with their own fixed-term crew contract that covers their terms and conditions, dates, location, expenses allowance, overtime rate (if applicable) and the allocated supervisor’s contact details. The allocated supervisor and trainee will also complete a ScreenSkills training plan, in which they set out their objectives for the duration of the placement and can track their development.

How does the production claim up to £300 per week for trainee wages?
The production invoices ScreenSkills at the end of the trainee’s placement. Funding of the agreed amount can only be provided if the production has submitted, signed and returned all the necessary paperwork for ScreenSkills’ records: a signed trainee agreement, a fully completed training plan (stage one and stage two) and proof of trainee payment for each week worked.

What does the production need to do in relation to the placement? 
The production allocates a named supervisor to support the trainee and provides the contact details of the supervisor to ScreenSkills. The supervisor’s role is to be the point of contact and guidance for the trainee and support their production training needs. The supervisor and trainee complete stage one of the training plan together and return to ScreenSkills promptly. The supervisor has regular reviews with the trainee during the placement and completes all remaining parts of the training plan including their feedback.

How does Trainee Finder support the trainee? 
Trainees attend an initial induction weekend in which they receive training in set etiquette, how to navigate the industry as a freelancer, and more. Trainees also complete ScreenSkills’ online Coronavirus basic awareness on production and Tackling harassment and bullying at work training modules. 

ScreenSkills offers further support to the trainees throughout the year. This includes training in first aid, health and safety, green sustainability as well as more personal support on topics such as managing finances and mental wellbeing.

We also offer one-to-one pastoral support with the help of regional industry practitioners who are alumni of the scheme and able to advise and assist trainees in taking their next steps, wherever they are based in the UK.

Will productions need to release a trainee for training courses? 
Yes. From time to time, Trainee Finder organises training courses and events which the trainee is required to attend. Productions will need to ensure that a placed trainee is able to attend the arranged course. ScreenSkills will give as much notice as possible of training dates.

Download these FAQs as a PDF

High-end TV Trainee Finder FAQs

Which departments do you support?
Our current High-end TV Trainee Finder trainees are ready and available to be placed onto productions that contribute to the High-end TV Skills Fund. Between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2022, the trainees will be placed across nine priority grades:

  • Accounts
  • Art department
  • Camera
  • Costume
  • Edit
  • Floor runner
  • Hair and make-up
  • Locations
  • Production office runner
  • Sound

We also have trainees who work in factual television.

How does a production access Trainee Finder?
Productions that contribute to the High-end TV Skills Fund can access the Trainee Finder pool of trainees by contacting us for their CVs. Please contact Reuben Samra for further information about contributing to the High-end TV Skills Fund.

How does ScreenSkills support productions in relation to Trainee Finder?
ScreenSkills pays £300 per week towards the salary of each trainee taken from the programme and gives productions access to a database that shows which trainees can be selected for placement, in which department they work and where in the UK they are based.

How do productions claim £300 per week when taking on a trainee?
Productions that take on Trainee Finder trainees invoice ScreenSkills at the end of the placement. Funding will be provided once the production has submitted, signed and returned all the necessary paperwork for our records.

Is there a time limit to the duration of a placement?
The minimum duration of placement is 4 weeks and the maximum duration is 20 weeks. In total productions can have trainees for a period of 40 weeks.

How are trainees selected?
Productions have access to the CVs of Trainee Finder trainees. Productions can contact trainees directly to arrange an interview or to find out more about them. Once a trainee has been selected, please contact ScreenSkills to complete the relevant paperwork.

Is there a maximum number of trainees per production?
We would ideally like three trainees per production, but it is possible to divide a 40 week allocation of funding from us between more or fewer trainees with agreement from ScreenSkills (i.e. two trainees for 20 weeks each, or four trainees for 10 weeks each).

What paperwork does ScreenSkills issue?
A training agreement will be issued between ScreenSkills and the production. Additionally, the production will need to provide the trainee with their own fixed-term crew contract that covers their terms and conditions, dates, location, expenses allowance and overtime rate and, if applicable, the contact details of their allocated supervisor. The allocated supervisor on the production will also draw up a training plan with the trainee. This plan needs to be sent to the production before the placement starts and we ask all supervisors to complete this in the first two weeks of the trainee being in their team.

How does the production pay the trainee?
By payroll, as the trainee is contracted via a fixed-term contract.

What does the production need to do in relation to the placement?
The production assigns a supervisor to the trainee and provides ScreenSkills with the contact details of the supervisor. The supervisor has regular reviews with the trainee and works with them on their training plan. The supervisor’s role is to be the point of contact and guidance for the trainee and to support them with training needs when they are on production.

How does Trainee Finder support trainees?
Each trainee has been selected by department-specific industry professionals to take part in the scheme. Before starting their first placement, they have also completed the induction to help them be ready for their traineeship.

Trainee Finder provides ongoing support for the trainee by providing the details of industry professionals who can answer questions and offer advice when trainees request this.

A member of the Trainee Finder team will visit the trainee when on a placement to meet their supervisor and to discuss the aims and objectives of the placement and scheme in general with the trainee, supervisor, heads of department and production contacts.

Trainee Finder also organises training courses and events, which can include career planning workshops, mental health awareness training and finance for freelancers trainees to attend during their time on the programme. We ask that all productions release their trainees to take part in this important, compulsory training.

Do productions need to release trainees for training courses?
Yes. Trainee Finder organises online training courses and events which the trainee is required to attend. Productions will need to ensure that a placed trainee is able to attend the arranged course. ScreenSkills will give as much notice as possible and tries to plan training in evenings or on the weekend.

Children’s TV Trainee Finder FAQs

What is Trainee Finder?
Trainee Finder an annual entry-level placement scheme which matches trainees with Children’s TV productions, offering them on-the-job experience whilst ensuring a continued supply of talent for the industry. Trainees are recruited, shortlisted and interviewed by heads of departments from the department they apply to. In 2020/22 we are working with 197 trainees.

Which departments do you support?
Our current TV Trainee Finder trainees are ready and available to be placed onto productions that contribute to the Children’s TV Skills Fund.

Between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2022 , the trainees will be placed across nine priority grades.

  • Accounts
  • Art department
  • Camera
  • Costume
  • Edit
  • Floor runner
  • Hair and make-up
  • Locations
  • Production Office Runner
  • Sound

NB - we also have trainees who work in factual television.

How does a production access Trainee Finder?
Productions that contribute to the Children’s TV Skills Fund can access the Trainee Finder pool of trainees. Please contact Sarah Joyce – sarah.joyce@screenskills.com for further information about contributing to the Children’s Skills Fund.

How does ScreenSkills support productions in relation to Trainee Finder?
ScreenSkills offers productions up to  £9000 of support. This breaks down as £250 per week towards the salary of each trainee to a maximum of 36 weeks.

How do productions claim £250 per week when taking on a trainee? 
Production that take on Trainee Finder trainees invoice ScreenSkills at the end of the placement. Funding will be provided once the production has submitted, signed and returned all the necessary paperwork for our records.

Is there a time limit to the duration of a placement?
The minimum duration of a placement is four weeks and the maximum duration is 12 weeks per trainee. In total a production can have trainees for a period of 36 weeks - with flexibility to adjust the duration if fewer trainees are taken, as long as the total doesn't exceed 36 weeks

How are trainees selected?
Productions have access to the CVs of Trainee Finder trainees. Productions can contact trainees directly to arrange an interview or to find out more about them. Once a trainee has been selected, please contact ScreenSkills to complete the relevant paperwork.

Is there a maximum number of trainees per production?
Max 3 trainees for up to 12 weeks - with the same flexibility to adjust the duration if fewer trainees are taken, as long as the total doesn't exceed 36 weeks

What paperwork does ScreenSkills issue?
A training agreement will be issued between ScreenSkills and the production. Additionally, the production will need to provide the trainee with their own fixed-term crew contract that covers their terms and conditions, dates, location, expenses allowance and overtime rate and, if applicable, the contact details of their allocated supervisor.

The allocated supervisor on the production will also draw up a training plan with the trainee. This plan needs to be send to the production before the placement starts and we ask all supervisors to complete this in the first two weeks of the trainee being in their team.

How does the production pay the trainee?
By payroll, as the trainee is contracted via a fixed-term contract.

What does the production need to do in relation to the placement?
The production need to book the trainee agreeing hours and rate. The production also assigns a supervisor to the trainee and provides ScreenSkills with the contact details of the supervisor. The supervisor has regular reviews with the trainee and works with them on their training plan. The supervisor’s role is to be the point of contact and guidance for the trainee and to support them with training needs when they are on production.

How does Trainee Finder support trainees?
Each trainee has been selected by department-specific industry professionals to take part in the scheme. Before starting their first placement, they have also completed the induction to help them be ready for their traineeship.

Trainee Finder provides ongoing support for the trainee by providing the details of industry professionals who can answer questions and offer advice when trainees request this.

A member of the Trainee Finder team will endeavour to visit the trainee when on a placement to meet their supervisor and to discuss the aims and objectives of the placement and scheme in general with the trainee, supervisor, heads of department and production contacts.

Trainee Finder also organises training courses and events, which can include career planning workshops, mental health awareness training and finance for freelancers trainees to attend during their time on the programme. We ask that all productions release their trainees to take part in this important, compulsory training.

Do productions need to release trainees for training courses?
Yes. Trainee Finder organises online training courses and events which the trainee is required to attend. Productions will need to ensure that a placed trainee is able to attend the arranged course. ScreenSkills will give as much notice as possible and tries to plan training in evenings or on the weekend.

We have a number of trainees from across the UK who are available right now to work on fund-contributing productions within grades including:

  • Art department
  • Camera
  • Costume
  • Edit
  • Floor runner
  • Hair and make-Up
  • Locations
  • Production office runner
  • Film accounts
  • Sound
  • Video assist

To request a film trainee please email Michelle Franklin at michelle.franklin@screenskills.com, to request a high-end TV or children's TV trainee please email Stephanie De La Paz at: stephanie.delapaz@screenskills.com.

If you would like more information about becoming a trainee yourself please visit the become a trainee page.