(Image: VFX apprentices at DNEG)
Apprenticeships are very different from a full-time course. You earn as you learn and most of your learning happens in the workplace. You will be trained on the job, by people at the very top of their game. You'll gain valuable experience, job-specific skills, earn a wage and get holiday pay.
You'll also spend around 20% of your time studying in a classroom, learning the deeper, wider knowledge you need to progress your career.These structured learning programmes train you to work in entry level roles that the Games, Animation and VFX industries see as critical. Which means your skills will be in demand from the moment you start and unlike a degree course, you can complete your training in just two years, have two years' work experience and start your career debt-free.
Everyone's a winner. You contribute to your employer's productivity and in return you earn a salary and learn real-world skills that will prove invaluable in the workplace. Together we create a highly skilled workforce that's ready to meet the future demands of the business.
NextGen Skills Academy has worked with employers to develop Higher Apprenticeships. Two are now funded for the Visual Effects (VFX) industry: Junior 2D Artist and Assistant Technical Director. The skills you learn as an apprentice have been identified by employers as those most relevant and widely used, so you will learn exactly the skills you need to work in your chosen career.
These are Higher Apprenticeships, which means that they're comparable to the first year of a degree. For this reason, Government funding for an Apprenticeship isn't available for people who already hold a degree in Visual Effects. But if you don't have a VFX degree, or are considering leaving University, then this could be the opportunity for you.
Before registering your interest, you should check out the VFX Apprenticeship Standards on the Institute for Apprenticeships website. There are currently two roles Assistant Technical Director and Junior 2D Artist.
The Assistant Technical Director role includes supporting visual effects (VFX) projects by providing technical assistance to creative departments, troubleshooting workflow issues, and managing data and resources.
The Junior 2D Artist role includes assisting senior visual effects (VFX) artists with the integration of live action footage and computer generated imagery to create images for TV and film.
The job in each apprenticeship placement will vary, but the content of what you will study is common. Read through the standards and decide which role is best for you.