Modern wireless technology and social media illustration

Creative & Digital Media

Are you not Entertained?

A lot of what we watch and hear on our TVs, devices and computers has been put together by people working in the creative and digital media industry. It might be games, radio shows, TV programmes and more …. but whatever the content, an Apprenticeship in this area can help you be a part of it.

Types of Apprenticeship

The Creative & Digital Media Apprenticeship framework covered Apprenticeships in the industry, but others are coming along that might replace it over the next few years – don’t worry, Careermap will have details of new Apprenticeships.

About the Creative & Digital Media Industries

The UK’s creative industries are hugely important: they employ almost three million people, contribute more than £80 billion a year to the economy, and without them there’d be nothing to watch on TV, or Netflix, or anywhere (unless you count goat videos on YouTube).

In fact, there’d be little to see, do, read or listen to anywhere, because without the arts and people pushing them out into the world, nothing would be printed, recorded, broadcast or uploaded. The world would be a pretty dull place.

What can I do?

Whatever you want to do. There are constant new innovations for shows, sounds, apps, games and more, and no-one has the monopoly on a good idea. The creators of YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Instagram dreamed of things that didn’t exist before and brought them to life. That could be you.

Alternatively, there are many, many existing roles that can lead to rewarding and interesting careers across the creative sectors. As you train you’ll gain the technical skills you’ll need to harness your creativity and turn it into something that other people can access and enjoy, whether that’s capturing sound, producing a radio show or working in social media.

You’ll also be exposed to new technology and different ways of thinking on your way to landing a job or perhaps setting up on your own. With so many opportunities out there, you’ll probably work in a few different roles throughout your career.

Creative Skills

Being creative requires imagination, but there are also practical skills you’ll need as you build your career. They’ll vary depending on what you want to do: a camera operator will need to master equipment and understand light, for example; an animator will need technical drawing skills as well as a grasp of software; a game designer will need both creative flair and an insane control over code.

All of these things will develop over time as you train, but it’s good to start thinking now about the areas that might interest you and getting a feel for the skills you’ll need.

Creative Careers

Here are just some of the jobs available in creative & digital media:

  1. Production Runner
  2. Broadcast Assistant
  3. Junior Content Producer
  4. Digital Assistant
  5. Production Secretary
  6. Online Community Manager

The creative industries are competitive so it’s normal to start lower down the ladder and work your way up to more senior roles as you get more experience in your chosen medium.

Getting Started

If it’s time to play the music and light the lights on your creative career, head to CareerMap to see what apprenticeships and jobs are out there. Creative Skills is another useful source of info on training and opportunities within the sector.

Routes into the creative industries include:

  1. Apprenticeships
  2. Vocational qualifications / A Levels
  3. National Diplomas and Certificates
  4. Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Diplomas (HNDs)
  5. Foundation Degrees (England and Wales only)
  6. Bachelors Degrees

Creative Apprenticeships – what's changing?

Creative industry apprentices are going to have more options over the next few years as new Apprenticeship standards are introduced (for a while you might be able to choose between the current programme and the new ones, until the old apprenticeship is closed down). It’s a good thing, as it means you’ll be able to take up an apprenticeship that’s designed for the exact role you want, instead of a general one that covers all kinds of jobs.

The basics will stay the same, though: you’ll train with an employer, study for a bit of the week, and get paid. And put your imagination to work, of course. Keep an eye on Creative Skills and CareerMap for updates on the Apprenticeships available.

Levels of Apprenticeship

At present, the Creative & Digital Media Apprenticeship is offered at two levels:

Level Three – equivalent to A Levels / Highers

Level Four – equivalent to Foundation Degree / Advanced Higher

A Level Two Apprenticeship takes two years to complete, then you can continue for another year to achieve Level Three. Level Four is designed for those aiming for technical, design or management careers.

Life as a Creative & Digital Media Apprentice

Any audio visual output you can think of involves a lot of work from a lot of people to bring it into our homes and onto our devices, whether it’s an immersive world on a console game, a Hollywood movie or a comedy panel show you watch late at night. To be involved in making these and other things happen you might be in a broadcast studio; on location filming; preparing animation on your computer; or perhaps working in the production offices.

Whatever you do, you won’t be alone. You’ll be thrown into a new team and you’ll need to do your best to work well with everyone: some of the work might be physical or basic at first, or you might have to work long hours in all conditions, but by showing willing and applying yourself you’ll make a good impression. Knowing people and being known as a good worker is essential in the creative industries, so having a good attitude right from the start will really help you get ahead.

Another tip: the equipment and tech, both analogue and digital, that you’ll use at work will be vital to your job (and never underestimate how helpful gaffer tape can be in all kinds of creative environments). Make the most of your time at college – and your spare time – to really master any software packages or gear you’re working with; you’ll be glad you did in the long run.

Apprenticeships are unique as you’ll be studying as well as working, so you’ll get a taste of life at college as well as work. It’s a chance to make new friends and socialise, and pick up some handy time management skills as you learn to balance your work, study and social life. You’ll also be earning your own money, which will help when it comes to buying any equipment you need (or books, films and music to inspire you). It will pay for nights out with your friends, too.

You could work in…

  1. Film
  2. TV
  3. Radio
  4. Animation
  5. Photo imaging
  6. Interactive media

Find apprenticeships and jobs in creative & digital media near you at Careermap.

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