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July 2021 | My First Job in Film

The film apprenticeship scheme has been hugely successful in the UK film industry, here's what you need to know.

What’s the difference between an apprenticeship and an internship?

Film apprenticeships and internships are two separate things. Film apprenticeships are a relatively new addition to the pathways into the film industry in the UK. Much like apprenticeships in any other industry, they offer anyone who has not had training a chance to earn and learn. You can be a school leaver or a career changer, apprenticeships offer at least 12 months of training via 80% on the job training and 20% within an academic institution.

Internships on the other hand offer short term placements, usually within the business sector of the film industry. Internships can be part of your university degree, many of which are adopting a more US-style ‘experience for college credits’ situation. Guidelines have very strict rules around internships, which should last for a month and offer the intern relevant skills they can add to their CV. Most are unpaid internships, which is why MFJF regulates the internships offered to make sure employers don’t take advantage of new entrants. 

What companies offer apprenticeships?

To support the apprenticeship scheme, companies working in the film industry with a payroll larger than 3 million a year pay into an apprenticeship levy. They can then withdraw funds to support their apprentices. This group of companies are known as the ‘trailblazers’ and you will see their names appear when you look on the Screen Skills website

Other companies who do not pay into the fund can apply to the government, they receive 95% of the training costs. They can also apply to the UK Screen ALT scheme which regulates the funds for apprenticeships opening up opportunities for more apprenticeships.  

What jobs come from film production apprenticeships?

Internships can be found in:

  • VFX
  • Animation
  • Production
  • Post-production 
  • Engineering 
  • Production crafts

Who offers film apprenticeships?

The UK Screen Alliance is heavily involved with the apprenticeship scheme. Due to covid, many of the placements have been put on hold but you should check their website regularly to see which appentiships are open for applications.

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