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Announcement! The Channel 4 Production Training Scheme is open!!! Check out our "Opportunities"

Applying to a new entrants scheme - our top tips!


The thinkBIGGER! team have read thousands of application forms, so we’ve learnt a thing or two about which ones stand out (and not always for the best reasons).

Is this the right opportunity for me?

This is the very first question you should be asking yourself when you are applying for a scheme. I know it can be difficult when you are eager and ready to get your foot in the door - and you think the best thing to do is put your hat in the ring for every role - but if you are applying for an unscripted position and you want to work in Drama then you’re probably going to be wasting everyone’s time (including your own).

When you are offered a position on a scheme you have a lot of people and resources invested in your development - from the company who you work for to the training provider, like thinkBIGGER! who set you up with all the skills you need to have a successful and long career. If you are not invested in this role then don’t expect to ruffle some feathers when they have invested in you. Hold out for the right one for you.

Copy and paste

There are often roles at a wide variety of independent production companies for a scheme. Take your time to go through these companies and find the one that you would most like to work with and spend your time writing a really strong application for them.

Applying for every company isn’t necessarily going to increase your chances of getting a place on the scheme - particularly if you are simply copying and pasting your answers.

Do your research

Leading on from that - make sure you properly research the company and watch their TV programmes! Don’t just read a description of a programme - watch it and form your own opinions about it. What worked? What contributors really appealed to you and why? Is there something you would have added if you had been part of the team working on it?

New entrants schemes don’t require previous industry experience so don’t worry if you don’t have any - or don’t feel like you need to fill your job application with details of the one day running experience you have.

Actually, we would love to hear about the work you’ve done organising a warehouse, filing paperwork for a lawyer, or customer service work at a call centre. As you are putting your application together, make sure you have a good understanding of the skills required for the role and then map out where you have demonstrated these skills in other roles. For example, a researcher spends a lot of time speaking to contributors, so if you have worked in retail or catering then you already have a wealth of experience at this.

ScreenSkills has a handy job role profile here which you can refer to.

What makes you, YOU

As the previous point mentions, you don’t need to have worked in TV to be successful on a scheme, so another thing we are really interested in is you. The TV industry has a drive and commitment to diversify its workforce to reflect the audiences that are watching our shows - so if you have a unique voice, background or life experiences then don’t be afraid to celebrate them.

Use the word count

Most applications will give a recommended or maximum word count and you should be using this as an indication of how much we are wanting to hear from you.

If you need an alternative format - ask

If you are disabled and a written application is not the best format for you then don’t hesitate to ask for an alternative format - give yourself the chance to provide the best application for you.

And, PLEASE, don’t do these…(Yes, these are all things we have seen on applications)

  • Instead of answering the questions, submit a link to your showreel
  • Copy and paste the same application for every company
  • Write about the wrong company (or even a company not involved in that opportunity)
  • Explain that your goal is to work in a completely different job (e.g. applying for a researcher job when you only want to be a writer)


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