EXCLUSIVE: 3000 potential interns and 100 film companies sign up for website My First Job in Film aimed at placing interns and reducing exploitation.
Interns have long been at the thin edge of the recruitment wedge, especially in the current ‘age of austerity’.
My First Job in Film, a website launched last year to help place suitable interns in the film industry and roll back the all too prevalent practise of intern exploitation, has seen significant demand from interns and industry alike.
3000 prospective interns and 100 companies, including Vertigo Films, Entertainment One, Universal, Molinare, Focus Features, Heyday, Double Negative, Dogwoof and Artificial Eye, have signed up to the scheme.
The scheme is framed around the Creative Skillset Guidelines for Work Placement Schemes in the Creative Industries which sets out ‘best practice standards’ and aims to reduce exploitation.
Website founder and former film intern Sam Kirkwood commented: ““It is important that a transparent and equitable environment is created to allow individuals from all backgrounds to join the industry, regardless of contacts. The Creative Skillset Guidelines are an important tool to achieve that. Every opportunity promoted through our scheme has to adhere to these very simple but important guidelines.”
“Many companies and productions want to help individuals gain experience but cannot always provide the resources to practically administer a work experience or internship scheme,” he explained. “Our scheme does that for them. We take away the burden of sifting through CVs and finding quality candidates. Essentially companies and productions have outsourced their new entrant recruitment to us. It’s simple and it’s entirely free. However, we want more to join the scheme to help more new entrants gain opportunities to start their film careers.”
According to Kirkwood, a double digit number of entrants find work each month through the scheme and number of placements lead to full time work.
Sarah MacWilliam, HR manager of Entertainment One said: “We believe strongly that a transparent and open new entrant recruitment process is important for the UK Film industry. This scheme gives employers the opportunity to reach a broader selection of candidates and Entertainment One UK is happy to support it.”
Dan Simmons, head of film, Creative Skillset, added: “We are glad to see the Creative Skillset Guidelines for Work Placement Schemes in the Creative Industries having a positive effect and welcome more companies and productions to adopt them as part of their new entrant recruitment policy.”
Mike Chapman, a new entrant using the scheme said: “My First Job in Film has opened numerous doors for me and expanded my knowledge of the industry. When leaving full time education it helped to give me direction and has let me make a series of important connections which will serve me well over the coming years.”
Edmund Perou, similarly got his first opportunity through the scheme: “My first Job In Film has led me to just that. I’ve just begun a 6 month paid job at a major UK film distribution company for a position advertised nowhere else.”