What is the Production Training Scheme?  

The Channel 4 Production Training Scheme provides amazing opportunities for people to take their first steps into TV production.

We will be offering places to 14 individuals to work as a researcher with independent production companies on a year-long contract. As a researcher, you’ll be involved with all different aspects of TV development and production, and you’ll also be given world class training and support alongside.

There are opportunities available across the UK – in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and North Wales, Belfast and Glasgow.

We are looking for people with a passion for television and bags of enthusiasm. You’ll need to live and breathe all things TV!

The scheme aims to offer opportunities to those currently underrepresented in the TV industry, so we are particularly keen to hear from disabled people, people who come from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background and anyone from lower socio-economic groups who are from or currently living/working in the locations listed above.

This is an entry level scheme so is aimed at those with less than 3 months experience in the TV industry. You will need to be aged 18+ when the scheme begins in May 2021 to apply, there is no upper age limit. You can apply if you hold a degree, but you must have completed your education when the scheme begins as this is a full-time opportunity.

Job Description 


A good researcher watches a lot of television, is interested in people and can build good relationships. They have a keen eye for detail and are able to acquire an in- depth knowledge of any subject they are tasked with. They are persuasive and demonstrate tenacity to get the job done.

Researcher Personal Specification

Essential criteria for a good candidate:

  • Enthusiasm for content whether it be factual, factual entertainment or entertainment (known in the industry as unscripted)
  • Watches a wide variety of current television programmes
  • Desire to build a career in television
  • Good organisational and time management skills
  • Competent across a range of IT software including MS Office and Outlook
  • Ability to work in pressurised environments
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Comfortable with working with a wide range of people

Desirable criteria:

  • Good communication skills including writing and presenting brief
  • Proactive and enthusiastic approach to working
  • Ability to generate ideas
  • Good general knowledge and interest in what is going on around them

Which independent production companies could I be working with? 

Find out about the production companies in Bristol we have places available with below.

Drummer, Bristol 

Drummer TV is a double BAFTA and multi award winning independent production company specialising in documentary and factual programming based in Bristol. We were set up in 2012 by Tamsin Summers and Rachel Drummond-Hay and now make programmes for a range of broadcasters including Channel 4, Channel 5, BBC, CBBC and BSLBT (British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust). Our programmes range from one-off documentaries through to long running, returning series both for children, adults and with our BSLBT programmes, BSL users. As a company we pride ourselves on our inclusivity and value training and development.


Plimsoll, Bristol 

Plimsoll creates and produces premium content for audiences all over the world from offices in Bristol, Cardiff and LA. The internationally renowned creative team has produced numerous hits and won BAFTA, Emmy and RTS awards.

Founded in 2013 by CEO Grant Mansfield, the company has secured orders for more than 70 series: clients include, Netflix, Apple, Disney, National Geographic, CNN, Fox, BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

Completed shows and formats are sold in 75 international territories by distribution division, Magnify Media.

Plimsoll is now one of the fastest growing companies in the UK (third in the Sunday Times SME Fast Track 100) and one of the largest independent TV production companies in the country.

We believe that diversity of talent, thought and experience are key elements of the creative process and we aim to promote equality, respect and inclusiveness across the company.


Application timetable 

  • Applications close: 29th January
  • Shortlisting: by 12th February
  • Assessment days: week commencing 22nd February
  • Shortlisting and company interviews: March
  • Offers made: by 9th April
  • Bootcamp and trainee contracts start: 10th May
  • Trainees start at companies: 17th May

Join a Channel 4 virtual workshop to find out more about the Production Training Scheme, what makes a great candidate, and how to take your first steps into TV.

In the workshop you’ll hear from former Channel 4 trainees who are now working to create great television, as well as from the independent production companies themselves, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask them questions.


Alternative Application Formats 

If you are unable to complete a written application form, we want to make the process of applying for one of our opportunities right for you as an individual. If needed, we are happy to consider alternative formats of the application form.

For example, you could arrange a phone call with 4Skills for you to speak your answers and a member of the team can scribe, or if you’d like to create a five minute YouTube video/ voice recording, these are also options available. If you have a different alternative, we really welcome your suggestions to ensure you have a fair chance of applying.

Take a look at our access page for more information, which you’ll find by clicking here. If you would like to apply for an opportunity at 4Skills and we can help to make that process simpler for you, please email us at 4Skills@channel4.co.uk


To complete your application please provide a response to the below application questions, you can upload your response to the application questions as an attachment when submitting your application. This can be attached to your application as a PDF or Word document.  

  1. Please outline how you meet the “Essential Experience & Skills” outlined in the Job Description? (Max 500 words)
  2. Looking at the website for the independent production company you could work with on this scheme – please choose a recent programme they have made and tell us why you like it and what would make you want to work on it? (Max 300 words)
  3. Channel 4 is always looking to make television more inclusive. Using your own experience, how would you influence diversity and inclusion in TV production? (Max 300 words)
  4. The job description has provided information about what a researcher does (more information can be found here - https://www.screenskills.com/careers/job-profiles/unscripted-tv/editorial/researcher/) Using examples from lived experiences, education or what you do in your free time (TikTok and Snapchat productions can be included), explain how your current skill set would make you a good fit for this role? (Max 300 words)
  5. Tell us about a team project you have worked on (could be professional, academic or personal) including; how it was organised, how you managed your time and how you worked with the other team members? (Max 300 words)


Channel 4 has signed up to our GoThinkBig Manifesto, download it here