FAQ for Creative Industry Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are an amazing way to gain hands-on practical experience with some of the industries biggest employers, all while earning a qualification and receiving a wage. Below are answers to some of the frequently asked questions about apprenticeship placements.

How do I apply for a VFX, Camera Prep Technician, or Junior Animator Apprenticeship?

Before going any further, you should check out the Apprenticeship Standards on the Institute for Apprenticeships website to get the full details of each role and what would be best for you. See the full apprenticeship standards for:

When does recruitment open?

We are hoping to open recruitment soon for VFX and Junior Animator Apprenticeship positions starting in early 2022. Until recruitment opens you can express your interest in these positions via the links below, by leaving your details you’ll be the first ones to know when recruitment goes live.

Recruitment is now open for Camera Prep Technician positions and closes on Monday 21st June 2021 – for more details and a link to apply visit: Apply for a Camera Prep Technician Apprenticeship

Do I need previous experience?

For all apprentice positions we’re looking for motivation and potential, rather than polished skills.

For the VFX and Animation roles some creativity, experience in a related subject and knowledge of the industry is essential. As part of the application process you will be asked about your inspirations, knowledge of VFX/Animation, and asked to supply links to online portfolios. The most important thing to have ready for the application process is a link to your own online portfolio. This could be links to drawings, photos, a short movie, or anything that shows off your creativity and talents.

If you’re a coder or mathematician, but you haven’t found a creative outlet for your portfolio, don’t worry! You can also include examples of coding for a creative project, or highlight problem solving skills from your experience. A portfolio doesn’t just have to contain things that you’ve made, but also the things that have inspired you to apply. Just make it clear what is yours and what isn’t and why you’ve included it in your portfolio.  

Who is eligible to apply?

Apprenticeships are open to everyone aged over 16 who is not in full-time education, however most candidates will need to have English and Maths at Level 2 on entry. As apprenticeships are job roles individual employers will set the selection criteria as part of their shortlisting.

Due to the VFX and Animation placements being Level 4 Higher Level Apprenticeships (equivalent to the first year of a degree) there are some entry requirements, this is likely to include A Levels (or equivalent Level 3 qualification) in a moving picture or art related subject. Unfortunately, individuals with a Level 4 (degree equivalent) qualification in VFX, Animation, or an aligned subject, are not eligible to receive funding for a Level 4 Apprenticeship. However, if you have a degree in an unrelated subject and are looking for a change of career/direction then you can still apply.

I am an international student, am I eligible to apply?

We accept apprenticeship applications from international students who are currently studying in the UK. However, as apprenticeships are jobs, any international applicant must be eligible to work in the UK, and have the necessary visas, or leave to remain. Unless you are already eligible to work in the UK, your application for an apprenticeship won’t be considered.

If successful, the cost of your apprenticeship training will be covered from start to finish. You will be paid as an employee and you will be responsible for all re-location, accommodation and ongoing living costs.

How much do apprentices earn?

Salaries for VFX and Animation apprentices vary between companies but generally start between £15-16K in London. The salary for Camera Prep Technicians is £12k per annum.

Is accommodation provided, or is there help with re-location costs?

As with most jobs, accommodation and relocation costs are your responsibility. As an apprenticeship is work based you are legally employed and are not eligible for student loans. Any re-location, commuting and accommodation costs should be considered before making an application.

What is a “prior learning assessment”?

Prior learning refers to skills and knowledge gained by learners before they start their apprenticeship, this could be from prior studies, employment or personal practice. If successful at the application stage, and before your apprenticeship can begin, NextGen will assess your prior learning to establish the starting point for your apprenticeship. This checks that the apprenticeship, both the job role and the training, is an appropriate programme for you. This baseline also helps employers to tailor the training content, allowing them to focus on key areas without repeating training.

What happens on the assessment days?

If you are shortlisted for an assessment day you will be invited to a studio to meet with employers and other potential apprentices. You will be set problem-solving tasks to complete in groups, followed by an informal group interview to go over past experience and to reflect on the day's tasks.

Following the assessment day employers/studios will conduct follow-up interviews, either in person or via video call, with candidates they wish to speak to. This final recruitment decision is made by the employers themselves.