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Screenskills Unscripted Skills Fund production assistant training programme

Production management offers an exciting career path in TV and high levels of employability. The production assistant (also known as a production secretary or production management assistant) is the starting point for a dynamic and challenging career in production management which requires key skills and industry training.

This UK-wide programme is aimed at:

  • new entrants committed to pursuing a career in production management
  • those serious about transferring into unscripted production management from other departments or genres within TV or film
  • those looking to return to unscripted TV after a career break
  • those from other industries who have transferable skills and/or experience e.g working in admin, travel agents, theatre, events

Successful applicants will receive:

  • seven days of training which will consist of five days of online training via Zoom and two days of in person training in Birmingham (venue location TBC – travel & accommodation allowance will be provided for those from outside the area)
  • three month paid work placement in an independent production company
  • six hours of mentoring sessions from an industry professional

Who’s it for?

  • New entrants or individuals at the early stages of their career who may already be working as a runner, who want to focus on developing a career in production management – you should have 12-months or less experience in the industry
  • Those who work in other roles in the industry such as editorial, technical and craft who are looking to move into production
  • Those working in scripted, corporate/commercial, animation or post production who want to make the move into unscripted TV production
  • Those looking to return to unscripted TV production after a career break
  • Those from other industries who have transferable skills and/or experience e.g working in admin, travel agents, theatre, events, retail, hospitality etc
  • Although the majority of the training sessions will be running online, you must be based in or near Birmingham or one of the designated cities for the duration of the three month placement with a view to relocate permanently.

This programme will include a three-month placement for each delegate with a salary contribution from the Unscripted TV Skills Fund. If you work for a production company that would be interested in offering one of these placements, please email

What it covers

Course content includes:

  • What to expect when working in TV
  • ALBERT/sustainability
  • Setting up shoots – location, studio, outside broadcast, overseas (including in remote & hostile environments)
  • Understanding kit
  • What is required on a call sheet
  • The importance of risk assessments and health and safety on productions
  • Release forms
  • GDPR/dealing with confidential and sensitive information
  • Expenses/petty cash/per diems/POs/credit cards/cost managers/budgeting basics
  • Clearances/copyright (including music and archive)
  • The post production process/workflow
  • Post production paperwork including how to use Silvermouse
  • Negotiation skills
  • Mental health awareness
  • What to do when things go wrong
  • Freelance toolkit and CV clinic
  • Addressing unconscious bias: basic awareness in the workplace (e-learning)
  • Tackling bullying & harassment at work (e-learning)
  • Inclusive hiring for the screen industries (e-learning)

This will be an interactive course with group work/discussions and industry exercises. You will be provided with a resource pack and useful documents at the end of the course.

Once training is complete, you will be assigned an industry mentor and start your three-month paid placement.

How to apply

Click the ‘Apply now‘ button above. You will need to:

  • create and be logged into your ScreenSkills profile
  • upload an up to date CV to your ScreenSkills profile
  • fully complete the application form

The training programme is heavily subsidised with a fee of only £200, payable by successful delegates or their employers. There are bursaries available for those who require support. Please email – if you intend to apply for a bursary.

In order to apply you should meet the following criteria:

  • You must want to pursue a career specifically in production management in unscripted television – this is not an opportunity to work in scripted television or to develop an editorial career as a researcher, assistant producer or producer/director
  • You must have proven organisational, team working and scheduling skills – please outline this experience in your application
  • You must be able to attend all seven days of training
  • You must be able to work for three months in (paid) placements in or around the city you are applying for
  • You must have the right to work in the UK
  • You can pay the £200 fee or intend to apply for a bursary

Key Dates

Applications close at midnight on the 29th September.

Interviews take place during the w/c 2 October and w/c 9 October.

Applicants will be notified if they have been successful or unsuccessful during the w/c 16 October.

Training takes place:

  • 30 October – online session
  • 1 November – online session
  • 3 November – online session
  • 6 November – online session
  • 7 November – online session
  • 9 November – in person training in Birmingham (venue location TBC)
  • 10 November – in person training in Birmingham (venue location TBC)

Placements start w/c 13 November. (Please note, there may be delays on placement start dates due to production company workloads, however they endeavour to start these as close to the middle of November as they can).

Mentoring will start around the middle of November. You will have six hours of sessions with your assigned mentor.

For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

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