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Job Details: Production Training Scheme 2021, Researcher (Leeds)

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Production Training Scheme 2021, Researcher (Leeds)
United Kingdom

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 Leeds we have places available with below.  

The Garden Yorkshire, Leeds 

The Garden is one of the UK’s leading production companies, known for producing high-quality factual television at scale, and for award-winning documentaries and innovative formats. Based in London and Leeds, it makes programmes for broadcasters in the UK, the US and around the world, and has had its work broadcast in over a hundred territories.  Since it was founded in 2010, the Garden has produced more than 400 hours of memorable and ground-breaking television, including the double-BAFTA nominated and RTS Award-winning 24 Hours in A&E, BAFTA-nominated 24 Hours in Police Custody, BAFTA-winning Bedlam and Gun No 6, the hit BBC2 series Inside Claridge’s, BAFTA-nominated The Audience, BAFTA-nominated Operation Live, BAFTA-nominated Keeping Britain Alive, BBC4’s pioneering ‘Slow TV’ films and Cancer Research UK’s award-winning ‘Right Now’ campaign. Since 2013 The Garden has been part of ITV Studios 

True North, Leeds 

True North has a stand-out track record in devising and delivering long-running, returning series and entertaining formats. With bases in Leeds and Manchester, True North makes compelling content that's watched in almost every territory in the world. 

As one of the 2019 Broadcast Best Places to Work, True North’s exceptionally friendly and supportive culture means that it’s the company of choice for many of the UK’s most talented content creators. 

Working across genres including factual, factual-entertainment, features, children’s, reality and more, diversity is part of our DNA. With a dedicated division covering each of our fields, we have all the specialist skills to make everything from distinctive children’s television to headline-grabbing reality and hard-hitting documentaries.  

Wise Owl, Leeds 

Wise Owl Films was launched in November 2018 as a new, non-scripted label of Lime Pictures, based in Leeds and headed up by Creative Director Mark Robinson who founded ITV Studios label Shiver . 

Their recent commissions include the BBC2 documentary When Bob Marley Came To Britain, the More4 series David Jason’s Great British Inventions; Sky Arts’ Guy Garvey: From The Vaults, the observational  doumentaryc series The Metro: A Rail Life Story for ITV; the ITV tribute special Rock On, Tommy: The Bobby Ball Story and the upcoming BBC2 series Firefighters. 

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.  

Register to join a virtual workshop (by location) here 

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 

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 - 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) 

Benefits will be dependent on the production company you work with
29 Jan 2021
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