Media Apprenticeships



If you fancy yourself as the next Spielberg or have a flair for hunting out the latest scoop, a media apprenticeship is an excellent way to kick-start your career.

Working in the media is both exciting and rewarding. There’s SO much you can do within a media apprenticeship. It all depends on your interests and how you can turn that into a career. 

You could be working on famous sets, rubbing shoulders with celebrities or helping to publish instant-hit novels.

This guide will tell you everything there is to know about an apprenticeship in media. You’ll even get to hear directly from employers about their various schemes. 

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What is a media apprenticeship?

Whether you’re leaning towards a career in television or graphic design - media will be your home. It’s bursting with creative talent and is often called the creative media industry.

An apprenticeship in media is an all-access pass to the sector. You learn everything there is to know about media, all while getting that vital practical experience.

Usually taking place over 12 months to three years, apprenticeships are split into four levels depending on your existing qualifications or grades:

An apprentice will spend around 80% of their time on the job, the other 20% supplementing their work experience with some class-based learning.

On top of that, ALL apprentices are paid. The current national minimum wage for an apprentice is £4.30 per hour, but many employers pay more.

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What can I do in a media apprenticeship?

Hope you’re sitting down. The choice is bulldozing.

You could find yourself working in publishing, advertising, journalism, animation and CGI, or even working on the technology behind the scenes.

Digital Media

Working with marketing and communication teams, you’ll spend your time creating content for digital media campaigns.

You’ll have top-tip knowledge of everything social media and always be trend-savvy. Apprentices help with keeping all comms and campaigns on-brand. This could lead to creating or updating the online branding itself.

Digital Marketing

The behind-the-scenes influencers of the world, digital marketers are experts in the art of selling products and services online.

There are loads of little bits that make up the role - anything from social media to mobile marketing and copywriting.

Journalism

For those with the gift of the written word and a curious mind, an apprenticeship in Journalism is the way to go.

Apprentices will spend most of their time in the newsroom finding the latest scoops while working towards an NCTJ National Qualification. 

There’ll also be plenty of chances to go out into the field and live your best Clark Kent life, without the kryptonite.

Theatre and Live Events

You might not get to act out an impressive Emma Watson-style monologue, but there’s plenty to do behind the red curtain.

An apprenticeship in theatre and live events could involve light design, video creation, sound engineering and event coordination.

Broadcast production for TV and radio

A broadcast production apprenticeship will assist in creating content for TV and radio. You’ll get the chance to contribute fresh and exciting ideas that could end up being shown on TV or played on the radio.

There’ll be loads of opportunities to film, audio record and edit content for various projects that you’ve researched and written yourself. Legal training is also given. It’ll come in handy.

Film production

Just like a golden snitch, they aren’t the easiest to find. But when you catch one - it’s magical. 

There’s lots to do in a film production apprenticeship, but they’re usually specific to a particular area of film. So it’ll help to have an idea of where you want to fit in.

You’ll get the chance to take your pick from animation, CGI, visual effects and directing, among others.

The UK Screen Alliance and ScreenSkills have some great advice, as well as opportunities listed on their job boards.

Publishing

You could work for the likes of Bloomsbury, Penguin or Pan Macmillan. Supporting various departments of a publishing company, a publishing apprentice gets involved in the many stages a book passes through from inception to publication.

The role involves both administrative and editorial responsibilities. One day you’ll be filing and arranging systems and writing contracts, and other days you could be researching the latest authors or even copywriting, editing and proofreading.

Who knows… you could help discover the next Malorie Blackman or Philip Pullman.


Where can I do a media apprenticeship?

Now you know how diverse media apprenticeships can be, it’s time to start applying. But who’s hiring?

Before you start screaming “hey Alexa”, take a look at the RateMyApprenticeship jobs page; there are hundreds of positions ready for fresh talent.

There are a wide variety of job opportunities with some prestigious employers. 

Sky, ITV, and the BBC are among a platter of companies searching for fresh talent to join their apprenticeship schemes. Find out more below...


Sky Apprenticeships

WHERE: HQ, LONDON

HOW LONG: 12-18 MONTHS

Broadcasting giant Sky offers a wide range of apprenticeship opportunities.

Sky is always on the hunt for passionate and hard-working apprentices who are looking to start their careers in the world of media.

Schemes at Sky vary, but you can work in anything from broadcast engineering to software development.

To get started, all they ask is for you to register. From there, it’s all smooth sailing. 

Prospective apprentices will be required to take a digital assessment, including a video interview. If you get through to the final stage, you’ll be invited to an assessment day where you’ll get to meet the team.

Not only do you get paid, but an apprentice will also receive some pretty decent perks on top. Some benefits include healthcare, Sky Q and broadband packages. Yes, please.


ITV Apprenticeships

WHERE: ALL OVER THE UK

HOW LONG: 9-18 MONTHS

Home of the UK’s fave meme, Gemma Collins and our national uncles Ant & Dec, ITV is the hub of Saturday night entertainment and plenty of dramas to keep you on your toes.

Usually taking the form of Level 3 apprenticeships, there are opportunities across the whole organisation from broadcasting to journalism and technology.

Depending on the scheme, applicants might also be asked to record short videos or written statements on a particular topic.

If you’re shortlisted, you’ll be invited to an assessment day.

Apprentices are full-time employees. So they receive a handsome salary as well as other staff benefits and holidays. ITV News apprentices can earn up to £26,660 pro-rata.


What qualifications will I need?

Entry requirements for intermediate apprenticeships can vary. However, most will require you to have at least two or more GCSEs graded at 9 to 4 (A* to C).


"Sounds great, but I don’t actually have those. What now..?"

Don’t worry. There are many different routes to a career.

Traineeships allow you to gain the qualifications needed to progress on to an intermediate level. You also get paid too.

You could also get yourself some work experience in your chosen field. Film and TV production employers often hire runners during filming to help with on-set tasks. 

A runner role is a great way to get your foot in and get some first-hand experience. ITV often advertise daily and weekly positions via their Facebook page.


Should I do an apprenticeship?

It’s 100% up to you, but we think they’re a spectacular way of starting a career:

  • You’re given both work experience and some classroom learning
  • You get paid
  • You get to meet some wonderful people and make super-helpful contacts

Don’t just take our word for it. There are thousands of reviews right here at RateMyApprenticeship.co.uk from school and college leavers who were in the same position as you just a year or two ago.

Why not join them? Sign up today for our job alerts and the latest career advice.