FAQ for VFX 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 VFX apprenticeship placements.

How do I apply for a VFX Apprenticeship?

Before going any further you should check out the VFX Apprenticeship Standards on the Institute for Apprenticeships website and see what role would be best for you. There are currently two roles available for Assistant Technical Director and Junior 2D Artist. VFX Apprenticeship recruitment is currently closed as of 26th April 2020, we will update this page with more details as soon as a new recruitment round is open.

When does recruitment open?

We normally hold a recruitment round in Spring each year for September starts.

Do I need previous experience?

We’re looking for motivation and potential, rather than polished skills but 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 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, due to our placements being Higher Level Apprenticeships (equivalent to the first year of a degree) there are some entry requirements. Individual employers will set the selection criteria, but this is likely to include A Levels (or equivalent Level 3 qualification) in a moving picture or art related subject. Most candidates will also have English and Maths at Level 2 on entry.

Unfortunately, individuals with a Level 4 (degree equivalent) qualification in VFX or an aligned subject, are not eligible to receive funding for an 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. If you are not currently studying in the UK then unfortunately you are not eligible to apply for these positions.

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. If you are a European national, you automatically have rights to live and work in the UK. 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 apprentices vary between companies but generally start between £15-16K in London

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

As with most job, 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 phone/Skype, with candidates they wish to speak to. This final recruitment decision is made by the studios themselves.

VFX Apprenticeship recruitment is currently closed as of 26th April 2020

Thank you to everyone you applied for this latest cohort of apprentices, all applicants will be contacted soon with more information. Please check back here as we will be adding a link to register your interest for the next round of VFX Apprenticeship recruitment soon.