Catalyst for Enterprise

Catalyst is a new initiative to help create a stronger talent pipeline across the UK video games, animation and VFX sectors.

Why is Catalyst required?

The VFX, animation and video games industries face a huge skills shortage – The best way to ease this is to “grow our own”, encouraging and developing the talent of young people looking to get into the sectors.

Currently, the core entry route into these sectors is by attaining a university degree, though unfortunately existing degree courses aren’t producing enough high calibre graduates to fill the available roles.

Many students drop out of the system early, they do not or cannot go on to complete university degrees. These talented youngsters are then lost to other sectors.

There’s a frustration from industry that even talented graduates lack experience on industry relevant tools & techniques, lacking the skills required to be able to make a smooth transition from student to professional.

We want to try to bridge it!


  • Highlight to students the skills they need to demonstrate to
    • Secure a first job in industry;
    • Secure a place on a great university course leading on to a job.
  • Create direct pathways into VFX, animation and video games for young people.
  • Increase the number of apprentices employed in the sectors. We want to give people a route that will allow them to attain a degree but also start their careers at the same time.
  • Help studios discover, hire and develop talented, young individuals.

Catalyst Blueprint

Stage 1

Highlight existing talent. Give the students a chance to shine and make employers aware how good they are. Create a showcase. (similar to our “Search for a Star” talent competition in the video games industry). We need to show studios that these guys are good enough, and deserve to be hired.

Stage 2

Place the best students into apprenticeships or junior roles in games, animation and VFX studios. This will be using the apprenticeship standards that are in place, such as Junior 2D Artist (VFX) & Assistant Technical Director (VFX) Apprenticeships,  or directly into junior & trainee roles.

Stage 3

Work with the creative industries and stakeholders to improve upon existing apprenticeships for industry and develop more apprenticeships at all levels, creating paths that can be followed all the way to higher levels of education.


2018 Project Examples

Level 3 Animation

Level 3 VFX

Level 5 VFX

Level 3 Character Art for Games

Level 3 Environment Art for Games

Catalyst is an initiative run to serve both students and the industries above and we openly welcome industry and academic engagement in helping us shape it.

Please get in touch with your feedback & suggestions.