Funded by industry contributions to the Animation Skills Fund, we aim to select a cohort of up to 30 new trainees whose focuses will range from 2D and 3D animation, stop motion animation and storyboard artist alongside production, art department and edit – new departments for this second iteration of the programme.
Productions that contribute to the fund will have access to this cohort and be able to split the salary costs of trainees with ScreenSkills, using a percentage of their own contribution.
Animation Trainee Finder is part of ScreenSkills’ Animation Skills Fund’s wider commitment to increasing and improving diversity and inclusion at every level of the animation industry regardless of background or educational attainment.
The pilot year of this programme saw a wide range of success, with trainees gaining placements on productions such as Corpse Talk (Tiger Aspect Animation), Kensuke’s Kingdom (Lupus Films), Lloyd of the Flies (Aardman Animation), Supertato (Blue Zoo) and Dodo Series 2 (Wildseed Studios).
Here’s what some of the first cohort said about the program:
Character animator James Boyle from London was retraining to be a 3D character animator when he joined the cohort: “I participated in a six-month placement at Jellyfish Pictures in London. The experience was great! I got to see first-hand how an animation studio worked, had the opportunity to learn from a seasoned animation director and also work on two VFX shows as an animator."
“I felt like I had come home. Working with like-minded people who were seasoned professionals was wonderful and I learned more in a year than I had at three years at Uni,” said 2D animator Laura Jeffcote from the East Midlands.
She added: “It is so difficult to land your first job after uni/college, especially if you are experiencing other barriers too, but this programme provides a bridge. We hear industry employers bemoaning the lack of experienced animation professionals so this programme assists both the studio and the trainee by providing that first role.”
Animator Alison Loke from Bristol landed two placements while on the programme. She said: “I think it is a great way of helping not only fresh grads but people who want to start working in the animation industry get their foot in the door. Programmes like Trainee Finder are really useful in these situations and are a great help!”
3D animator Immy Goodman, from Oxfordshire, originally heard about the scheme through a Discord server for university alumni: “It was a really positive experience that enabled me to grow. It was a good balance of getting support and also learning how to work independently.”
With her eye to the future, she said: “I’m going to be coming out of this traineeship in a much stronger position than I entered. I think this improved work, alongside my studio experience and the knowledge gained in that time, will really help me out moving forwards.”
We are looking for talented individuals from across the UK who have less than 12 months of paid experience in the animation industry. You must be able to clearly demonstrate a passion and commitment for a career in animation by providing evidence of one or more of the following:
- Working on previous productions, including short films
- Looking for/finding work experience
- Role-specific skills
To be eligible you must:
- Be 18 or over
- Live in the UK and have evidence of the right to work in the UK
- Have completed full-time education by 1 November 2023 – please note you do not need a university degree to apply
- Have less than 12 months’ relevant, paid experience in the animation industry
- Make yourself available for placements offered to you during your time on the scheme
- Be open and flexible to consider opportunities across the UK
- Demonstrate an interest in and commitment to the animation industry and working in the roles identified
- provide a showreel/portfolio that demonstrates your skills and experience
Any training will be subject to the applicants providing evidence of their right to remain in the UK. Failure to provide appropriate documentation may result in the training placement being withdrawn.
All successful applicants must attend a mandatory two-day, online induction weekend on 28 and 29 October 2023 in preparation for the scheme. Further details will be announced closer to the time.
ScreenSkills is committed to diversity and equality of opportunity in all aspects of its work.
We particularly welcome applications from those who identify as being from a minority ethnic background, because we are committed to creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce, and this demographic is currently under represented across the animation industry.
What experience do I need to have to apply?
You need to be able to demonstrate that you have experience of animation, which your showreel or portfolio should evidence. We will be judging applications based on the skills you demonstrate in your chosen department(s), whether it be within 2D, 3D or stop motion. We will also consider the experience you have had to date, which can include personal projects and not necessarily paid work experience.
Do I need to have a formal qualification to apply?
You do not need to have a formal qualification, such as a degree in animation, to apply to the programme. If you are still in full-time education, you are not eligible to apply.
Do I need to supply a showreel or portfolio and two letters of recommendation?
You do need to supply both a link to a showreel or portfolio and two letters of recommendation to be considered for the scheme.
Are the placements paid?
Once you have been interviewed by a production company and been offered a placement, the production company will take you on as an employee and pay you a salary set by the company at a rate at or above National Minimum Wage. You may be placed on productions for periods of between four and 40 weeks dependent on the production’s needs/available funding.
What roles might I be expected to take on?
The roles you will be offered will be entry-level and dependent on the needs of the production. The role may be offered as a junior animator/assistant animator, a storyboard artist assistant/revisionist, junior rigger, production coordinator/production assistant, art department assistant or assistant editor, for example. You will learn the skills for the role on the job with the support of the production company.
What will I need to share with ScreenSkills if I am successful in securing a place?
- You will need to share with us a two-page CV at the start of the programme
- You will need to sign an offer letter agreeing to the terms of the programme
- You will need to share evidence of your right to live and work in the UK for the duration of the programme
What is the schedule for Trainee Finder?
- 28 August – recruitment opens
- 25 September – recruitment closes
- 13 October – candidates will be notified if they are invited to interview
- W/c 16 October - interviews
- 25 October – successful candidates will be notified if they have been selected
- 28 and 29 October – induction bootcamp online
- 30 October – programme starts, productions have the option to begin reviewing candidates for placements
- Spring/summer 2024 – networking event
- 30 October 2024 – Trainee Finder 23/24 programme ends
Please note: Zoom interviews are set for the w/c 16 October so do make sure you have generally good availability for a virtual interview in that period before applying (should you progress to interview stage), as we are unable to change this. If you progress but are not free for an interview in that period, your slot may be reassigned to another candidate.
Applications are now closed.
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If you are an animation studio with a production in development or entering prep, we would love to connect and discuss how supporting the Animation Skills Fund can benefit you. For more information, please contact Matt Brothers.