Action! Cardiff and Vale College and Sgil Cymru launch CRIW – a new apprenticeship for the film and TV industry

11 Feb 2021

Cardiff and Vale College has joined forces with Sgil Cymru and the Welsh Government to launch a new shared apprenticeship offering young people in Wales the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the world of television and film production.

Film and television production is a major growth industry for Wales, and this new shared apprenticeships provides an exciting opportunity for young people to get involved.

CRIW – Welsh for ‘crew’ – has been created to reflect the dynamic, flexible nature of freelance work as it is at the heart of the industry behind the scenes. Each apprentice gains a year’s experience across a range of departments on not just one, but a variety of productions, working alongside world-class professionals.

The apprentices will also gain a Level 3 qualification in Creative and Digital Media, earning while they learn.

The programme was piloted successfully in 2020, with three apprentices working with the team creating the new Fox television adaptation of War of the Worlds, starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Gabriel Byrne. They worked for a host of departments on the production, including Assistant Director and Props.

Tom May, Jake Hatcher and Josh Legge also completed a placement with Vox Pictures on a new drama production for S4C. This year’s cohort of apprentices will begin work on 22nd February.

Josh has been offered a full-time job as a runner with Urban Myth, the company behind War of the Worlds, while Tom and Jake are being lined up for their next productions.

Tom had previously been working alongside his dad as a bathroom installer while looking for opportunities to get into the media industry.

“The best part of the job for me was generally having to communicate with the other members of the Assistant Director team in order to organise a shoot,” he said. “There was no specific task I enjoyed the most.

“I’d definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who wants to further their careers in the media industry!”

Jake Hatcher had been studying A Levels including Product Design and Drama, and this creative background inspired him to seek a career in the media.

“Getting onto this apprenticeship has given me a great opportunity to start a job which I can continue in the future,” he said. “After speaking to lots of people on the production, it’s made me realise how lucky I am to be on the scheme and to be starting out a career at this age.”

Jake enjoyed travelling to London, being on location and getting a taste of life behind the scenes. He believes the shared apprenticeship is an ideal way to gain a toehold in a competitive industry.

“I feel that the apprenticeship route is a great way to get started in the TV industry,” he explained. “Alongside working on productions and gaining on the job experience, I’ve now got a Level 3 diploma.

“Throughout the year I’ve also had good advice and support from industry professionals within Sgil Cymru. I’ve had a great year and would highly recommend becoming an apprentice!”

Josh Legge had been studying Media at college and looking for ways to get “a foot in the door” of the media industry.

“I thought that by learning and working at the same time, it would give me more of an opportunity at a young age for future jobs in the industry,” he said. Josh added that the thing he enjoyed the most was the sheer variety of different people in different roles he got to work with, giving him invaluable experience.

He would also recommend the shared apprenticeship. “It was an incredible experience I’ll never forget as it enabled me to boost my confidence and gave me the opportunity to work in my dream career,” Josh explained.

Adam Knopf, Head of Production on War of the Worlds, said: “The ability to hire apprentices on a short and fixed-term basis means that the candidates are able to work on productions of almost any length and move between production much like they would in the freelance job market.

“The three candidates that came to us were real assets and valuable members of the teams they joined.  They were all keen, positive and hard-working and would all be considered for roles on our future productions.”

Sue Jeffries, Managing Director of Sgil Cymru said: “At Sgil Cymru, we have been working on this ground-breaking scheme with the general media sector and Cardiff and Vale College for some time.  We feel we have developed the winning formula of a leading qualification delivered over 12 months with apprentices working and moving around from production to production, which is reflective of working as a freelancer in the industry.  

“2021 is promising to be a busy year for Wales as far as TV and film production goes, and being able to provide placements for ten new people to help deliver on that promise, is a really exciting opportunity for Sgil Cymru, productions and apprentices.”  

Cardiff and Vale College Deputy Principal Sharon James said: “The Creative Industries are such an important growth area for Wales, and for the Capital Region in particular. That’s why we are so pleased to work with Sgil Cymru, always a close partner of the College, on this innovative and exciting new shared apprenticeship.

“This new programme offers young people a fantastic opportunity to really immerse themselves in the film and TV industry for a year, gaining invaluable experience and insights along the way. I wish Tom, Jake and Josh the very best as they embark upon their dream careers.”