Animation Trainee Finder programme

Animation Trainee Finder is an entry-level paid placement scheme which places trainees on animation productions to ensure a continued supply of talent capable of making world-class creative animated content. 

Frame shot from Kensuke's Kingdom animation
Image: © 2022 Kensuke's Kingdom Limited, Melusine Productions S.A. Le Pacte, The British Film Institute, FFilm Cymru Wales CBC

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."

Read James' full story.

“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.”

Read Laura's full story.

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.”

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.