Do you think you could write social media posts for a major clothing brand? Or help cover stories for a national news outlet? Or design the lighting for a live performance? If the answer is ‘yes’, then a creative apprenticeship might be an excellent opportunity for you. Below we first give you some background to what creative apprenticeships are all about, and then we give some examples of real apprenticeship opportunities that have been on offer.
A big industry
With an estimated 2,040,000 jobs - 75% of them outside of London - the UK's creative sector generates more than £100 billion a year to the UK economy.
It’s a massive industry, and the range of roles is huge: you could end up designing sets for a musical show, working on animation and special effects for a feature film, or designing websites and apps that make users’ lives easier. An indication of its size is the fact that Unifrog’s Careers library features over 220 career profiles within the interest ‘Artistic’.
Some of the main advantages
- Gain an industry-recognised qualification. You’ll complete the apprenticeship with a qualification that’ll allow you to pursue employment or further education at a higher level.
- Boost your CV. You’ll gain valuable workplace experience that’ll look fantastic on your CV and possibly lead to job opportunities.
- Make new contacts. Through your workplace experience, you’ll build up a network of contacts within the creative sector.
- Earn while you learn. No student loans, no tuition fees and, hopefully, no debt. You’ll be paid a salary by your employer, and the government covers the cost of the training.
How much will I be paid?
In England the current minimum apprenticeship rate is £4.15 per hour, which applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.
If you’re aged 19 or over and have completed your first year, you’ll be paid at least the national minimum wage for your age. However, many apprenticeships, particularly Advanced and Degree/Higher Apprenticeships, offer more than the national minimum wage.
How do I apply?
Using Unifrog’s Apprenticeships tool, you can filter and search for apprenticeship programmes in categories such as ‘Broadcast Production and Technology’, ‘Creative and Digital Media’, or ‘Fashion and Textiles’.
The tool will allow you to create a shortlist of the apprenticeship programmes which appeal to you. From there, you can read about each organisation, the salary on offer, the entry requirements, and the course content.
Click the green ‘Apply’ button next to each entry in your shortlist to go through to the organisation’s website.
N.B. The apprenticeships listed below were all advertised at the time of writing but may not be available now - we’ve listed them to give you an idea of the kind of opportunities that are often advertised in the creative industries.
1. Apprenticeship in Film Design
- Length: 12 months
- Level: Advanced (equivalent to two A Level passes)
- Content: Essentially, you’ll learn how to make film. You’ll shadow film designers and support them with clip searching, light editing and title construction using software such as Photoshop and After Effects. In order to gain an idea of how the industry works as a whole, you’ll also be contacting prospective clients by email, managing databases, setting up meetings, going out on shoots and completing a range of general admin tasks. You’ll also gain a Level 3 Diploma in Creative and Digital Media.
- Future prospects: Opportunity to gain a full-time position as an assistant film designer.
2. Art Technician Apprenticeship
- Length: 66 weeks
- Level: Intermediate (equivalent to two A Level passes)
- Content: You’ll work for the Art, Textiles and Digital Media departments of a large secondary school. You’ll provide technical assistance to pupils during lessons, assist with printing in the darkroom, maintain equipment in the classrooms, prepare specialist materials for lessons and order art supplies.
- Future prospects: Opportunity to gain full-time employment as an art technician or go on to higher education in art, design, education or another related field.
3. Creative Assistant Apprenticeship (web development)
- Length: 13 months
- Level: Advanced (equivalent to two A Level passes)
- Content: You’ll be working for a leading software development company that specialises in interactive touch screens. You’ll work closely with a team of designers, developers and sales staff to deliver a wide variety of projects and assist other departments when there is a creative need. You’ll develop skills in UI design, web design, video editing, video capture and design tools. You’ll also gain a Level 3 Diploma in Creative and Digital Media.
- Future prospects: Opportunity to gain a full-time position as a junior creative developer.
4. Cross Arts Technical Apprenticeship
- Length: 14 months
- Level: Intermediate (equivalent to five GCSE passes)
- Content: You’ll work for the Creative Learning department of a large arts centre by providing them with technical planning and support. You’ll work across a range of different arts projects including performances, festivals, foyer installations and education programmes. You’ll attend events, organize equipment, update databases, deal with correspondence and attend meetings.
- Future prospects: Opportunity to pursue a related advanced apprenticeship or employment within the sector.
5. Product Design Degree Apprenticeship
- Length: four years
- Level: Degree / Level 6 (equivalent to a bachelor’s degree)
- Content: You’ll work on all stages of product creation and modification. You’ll learn how to create concepts, use Computer Aided Design (CAD) and prepare a product for launch. This includes working in concept studios, rapid prototyping, testing, validating and analysing performance. The courses will be developed through classroom, practical workshops and computer-based workshops.
- Future prospects: You’ll be able to apply for a junior product designer position or pursue a master’s degree.