Outlander developing next generation of skilled screen talent in Scotland

Elle Deans working as a plasterer on Outlander
Elle Deans working as a plasterer on Outlander

A team of twenty Scottish-based trainees have been selected for an intensive skills development training programme on Season 4 of the award-winning TV production, Outlander, fifteen of which will be taking their first step into the Film and TV industry.

Supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, Creative Skillset, and match funded by Sony Pictures Television, the Programme fosters practical production skills and provides the professional experience required to enable the next generation of screen talent to enter and progress careers within the industry.

Working alongside highly experienced crew members on location and in Wardpark Studios, Cumbernauld, for the next five to eight months the trainees will develop skills in a variety of creative and technical roles.

The trainees, aged from 18 to 32 and many of whom are brand new to the industry, have been selected from over 1,400 applicants for roles across camera, costume, design, assistant director, art department, effects and production.

On being selected, Kirsty McCabe, Season 4 Trainee commented: “Having been a theatre designer for nine years, I felt really comfortable where I was but knew I needed a new challenge. When I spotted the production design traineeship I knew it was the right opportunity to take what I knew and move forwards into TV and film. The traineeship has been excellent so far, I’ve been supported in learning about the industry and pushed forwards with my skills. It’s a great start to a new chapter of my freelance life and I’m really excited to see where it leads me.”

Aiming to build and retain vital screen skills for Scotland The Outlander Training Programme has now provided skills development for nearly 100 people across Seasons 1 – 4, many of whom have secured work on feature films and high end TV such as Churchill, Clique, Shetland, Etruscan Smile.

Chloe Waugh, Art Department Trainee, Outlander Season 2 commented: “After Outlander I worked on feature film Churchill as the Art Department Assistant and then, TV drama Clique as Graphic Artist. I am currently working as the 2nd Assistant Art Director on TV drama Shetland.”

Aina Sabate-Giralt, Continuity Trainee Outlander Season 1 & 2 said: “The traineeship on Outlander was the only way to put in practice all that I had learned on the Script Supervisor’s course in London. Without that opportunity, I doubt I would be where I am today. Since finishing the scheme in 2014 I have had the opportunity to “go solo” on TV shows like River City, and Loch Ness, feature films like Churchill and The Etruscan.”

Director of Screen at Creative Scotland Natalie Usher, commented: “Hosting productions such as Outlander not only generates significant income for Scotland but also boosts our screen industry by creating an opportunity to train the next generation of directors, producers, craft and technical crew. The speed at which many of the graduates have gone on to find employment demonstrates the quality of training being offered through this Programme. The Outlander Trainee Programme is one of a number of valuable initiatives taking place across Scotland to develop a skilled and diverse workforce, an ambition outlined in our Screen Strategy.”

Outlander Producer David Brown, said: “This is the fourth year of the groundbreaking Outlander training scheme and we are delighted that its success has made a significant contribution to the industry in both Scotland and the UK as a whole. We thank all our partners who have contributed so generously and wish all the best to past graduates and our current input. We look forward to working with them now, and on many future productions.”

The Programme is complimented by specialist continuing professional development training offered by Screen Academy Scotland through the Creative Scotland-supported Screen NETS training programme.