Creative, media and the arts

The arts world covers everything from film to fashion, music to computer gaming. While it’s the artists and actors, musicians and models who take centre stage, they wouldn’t be there without armies of assistants and teams of technicians – just take a look at the number of crew members listed in the credits next time you watch a film.

The creative industries are very popular, with lots of competition for job roles. It’s not easy to walk into your dream job in TV or the fashion industry, so an apprenticeship can be a great way to get a foot in the door.

Creativity takes on many forms and, likewise, the creative industry encompasses a broad array of jobs requiring different practices, talents and skills. The apprenticeships in this section sample a good portion of that range. If you’re technically savvy, then you could use the latest digital imaging techniques in a variety of photography-related roles or help rig the lighting for a playhouse. Like working with your hands? Then you could learn how to work the machines that manufacture clothing.

There’s also a strong administrative side to this industry, so you could find yourself contributing to the office of a busy record label, helping to promote a live event, or organising member information for a theatre. Have a look at the advertising and marketing communications apprenticeship on page 92 to find out more about varied job roles within the fast-moving advertising sector. You could even take on a more socially engaged role by working for a community arts programme.

You’ll find most opportunities in London and larger cities, but there are openings for creative types in most places. Imagination and a flair for English, art, music or a similar creative subject can help you succeed in the creative industries. But this is also a sector where passion and hard work will get you far.

Don’t expect anyone to roll out the red carpet for you at the beginning—long, antisocial hours are not unusual, and the pay is often not great for junior staff. But the work is fun and fulfilling, and you’ll be working with interesting and creative people.

At a glance

  • There are more than 3,000 creative apprenticeships in the sector—demand for places is very high!
  • Opportunities are available in film, TV, advertising, fashion, journalism, radio, design and many more


  • Have artistic or craft skills
  • Have lots of creative flair
  • Enjoy new ideas and have plenty of your own
  • Work as part of a team
  • Be passionate about your chosen field
  • Take an interest in the arts and culture
  • Be prepared to work long and sometimes unconventional hours
  • Be motivated by doing a job you love and not just money

Useful contacts

Creative & Cultural Skills—Skills and training for the UK’s creative and cultural industries

Creative Skillset—Industry skills body for the creative industries

Visual effects apprenticeships

Visual effects (VFX) is the term used to describe any imagery created, altered, or enhanced for moving media. This involves

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Papermaker apprentice

Papermakers work in a wide range of manufacturing organisations where many different types of papers and board are produced for

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Live event rigger apprenticeship

Live event riggers ensure that the infrastructure for the scenic, lighting, sound and audiovisual elements of a live event are

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Advertising and marketing communications apprenticeship

Advertising is a form of communication intended to persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to take some action, usually

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Blacksmithing apprenticeship

Blacksmiths create metal objects by heating wrought iron or steel until it can be shaped and, if necessary, joined to

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Broadcast production assistant apprenticeship

A broadcast production assistant provides support and assistance to editorial or technical colleagues to ensure the smooth delivery of content

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Costume and wardrobe apprenticeship

The Costume and Wardrobe apprenticeship provides a basis for a career in the costume and wardrobe aspects of theatre production.

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Craft and technical roles in film and TV

The UK craft and technical departments are recognised internationally for their expertise, professionalism, flexibility and commitment to the creative and

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Creative craft practitioner apprenticeship

A creative craft practitioner apprenticeship will help you learn a range of skills, techniques, materials, tools and equipment to design

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Cultural and heritage apprenticeship

The cultural and heritage apprenticeship spans museums, galleries, built heritage, conservation, heritage landscape and archeology. The sector collects and preserves the past,

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Design apprenticeship

The Design apprenticeship covers all the main design areas, from graphics to product design. The UK design industry is young,

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Digital learning design apprenticeship

Digital learning, or e-learning as it is also called, is a booming industry, with more and more businesses opting to

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Digital learning design Higher Apprenticeship

The Higher Apprenticeship in Digital Learning Design provides the first dedicated training route for those working in more senior roles

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Interactive design and development apprenticeship

The creative and digital media industries are constantly changing and evolving. Digital technology is re-shaping the landscape and demanding new,

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Jewellery, silversmithing and allied trades apprenticeship

If you have a keen interest in working in the jewellery industry, an interest in the engineering, making, producing and

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Live events and promotion apprenticeship

The live events and promotion apprenticeship covers everything to do with putting on a show or event – from promoting the event

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Journalism apprenticeship

Journalists bring you the news from your street, community, town or city, and from around the world. They keep you

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Photo imaging apprenticeship

The photo imaging sector requires a workforce with a wide-ranging skill set, combining technical proficiency with creativity, visual awareness and

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Technical theatre apprenticeship

Technical theatre plays a vital role in creating the right ambiance for audiences to enjoy theatrical performances. Sound, lighting and

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