What is Film Trainee Finder?
Trainee Finder matches talented individuals starting their career with placements on feature films.
Throughout the year, trainees have the opportunity to apply for placements in their chosen department on UK features which pay into the Film Skills Fund. In addition to placements, the cohort’s training includes health and safety, finance for freelancers, carbon literacy, resilience awareness, branding and networking. Trainees attend industry masterclasses to improve employability.
ScreenSkills also runs the Animation Trainee Finder and High-end TV (including Children’s TV) Trainee Finder programmes.
Applications are closed for the 2024-25 programme. Recruitment usually begins in the autumn.
If you would like more information about supporting a trainee as a production please visit the support a trainee page.
How does Trainee Finder work?
People with a passion and talent for film apply for the Film Trainee Finder programme. Successful applicants become part of an industry-recognised group of talented new entrants.
Productions that contribute to the skills funds notify our team when they are looking for trainees and we send them CVs of local and available trainees from our cohort who have opted in to the opportunity. The production will then select the trainees they wish to meet, interview and hire them as part of their crew.
We hope that trainees will have the opportunity to work on a variety of features of varying budgets that contribute to the Film Skills Fund.
Recent features that have placed trainees include Barbie, The Little Mermaid, Living, Poor Things, Scrapper, Pretty Red Dress, The Old Oak, A Haunting in Venice, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, All of Us Strangers and Meg 2: The Trench.
Following this, the Film Trainee Finder programme part funds the trainee's placement. We ensure that trainees are teamed up with a supervisor on the production and have a dedicated member of the team who is their point of contact and support for questions or queries.
Please note that once accepted on to Trainee Finder placements are not guaranteed. Trainees must ensure their CV and ScreenSkills profile are kept up-to-date.
We ask that trainees keep the team informed about their availability. We strive to help trainees and put them forward for any placements they express interest in, but it is the production that decides who to take on. We recommend that trainees remain proactive and continue to find their own work and do not rely solely on the programme.
“I didn’t actually know anyone in the industry. ScreenSkills gave me that step up.” - Sophia Mascarenhas, former hair and make-up trainee on the film 1917.
"I'm so honoured to be part of the Screenskills Trainee Finder, it’s been a truly remarkable and supporting experience. The skills I've developed and the people I've been able to meet, throughout this journey would not have been possible without being on the programme." – Feras Nour, art department trainee.
My time on ScreenSkills has been hugely beneficial. It has given me the opportunity to find creative work in Wales (something I previously struggled with) and has encouraged me to actively network to secure work in my community. I’ve also had the opportunity to learn how different departments work together in TV and film, therefore gaining a better appreciation of how a successful production runs, whilst developing my own skills. – Jamie Jones, art department trainee.
“While learning some of the role specifics has been great, what I’ve really enjoyed is the confidence the placement has given me. It’s improved my ability in making quick decisions, adapt to new challenges and solve on-set problems. The understanding I’ve gained around departmental roles and the terminology I’ve picked up have allowed me to talk with more confidence and network with those around me, even if they’re more experienced.” - Alice Flesher, hair and make-up trainee.
The eligibility criteria:
- Be over 18 years old – there is no upper age limit
- Live in the UK and have evidence of the right to work in the UK
- Have completed full-time education – there are no education requirements to be on Trainee Finder, however, if you are enrolled in full-time education or on a year-out placement year you are not eligible
- Have less than 12 months of relevant paid experience in your chosen department within film productions
- Be available for placements offered within the duration of the programme
- Demonstrate an interest in and commitment to your chosen department
- Be committed to attending training sessions organised by ScreenSkills throughout the 12 months
How do I apply?
Our pool of film trainees is selected annually based on their experience and desire to work in their chosen department.
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.
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.
We also welcome applicants who may have transferable skills from other creative sectors such as theatre, music, photography and commercial production, or from roles in other sectors such as business administration, event management, or make-up and hair applicants with salon experience.
Your questions answered
We recommend you read the full FAQs before applying