Real SFX


Apprenticeships allow Emmy-award winning SME to thrive on fresh talent

Cardiff-based special effects company Real SFX has benefitted from recruiting apprentices to fill skill-gaps in the creative industry and is now encouraging other SMEs to consider apprenticeships as a viable recruitment option.

With the impact of the pandemic affecting businesses, the BAFTA and Emmy-award winning company, whose work includes Peaky Blinders, His Dark Materials and Doctor Who, recognises the value of a strong, supportive team and the need to invest in the future of their workforce.

Carmela Carruba, director of Real SFX, said: “During these uncertain times, business owners and leaders are making life-changing decisions, recruiting and re-evaluating their products and services. Finding the right people at the right level to support your business needs is essential, and the Apprenticeship Programme is vital for us to thrive on fresh new talent.

“Since recruiting apprentices, we’ve seen a huge boost in morale among our other staff members. They enjoy taking on the role of mentors, passing on their skills and it motivates them to work harder. This valuable expertise will, in turn, ensure that the next generation of creatives are provided with the necessary experience to future-proof our industry.

“For us, apprenticeships are the best recruitment tool, and we will continue to recruit apprentices to support our business growth and sustainability.”

Real SFX took on its first apprentice in 2012 after identifying a shortage of skilled technicians in Wales. The company has recently moved to larger premises, establishing a make-up and prosthetics department which will enable the recruitment of even more apprentices.

Carmela continued: “When we first moved from London and started the business in Cardiff, we struggled to find a local special effects crew. We had to look for local people who we could train in the specific skills we needed.

“We began recruiting apprentices eight years ago. Approximately 95% of all of our apprentices stay within the business on either a full-time or freelance basis. We believe in equal opportunities, recruiting people of all ages and from a range of different backgrounds.

“The creative industry is competitive and fast-moving and for us, apprenticeships are the most effective way to ensure we have a workforce trained in the skills we need to meet business needs. Apprentices pick up valuable skills in the workshop and on set, learning techniques they can’t be taught in the classroom alone. They bring fresh talent into the business as well as new ideas and enthusiasm to the team.”

Carmela added:
“Businesses of all sizes should consider recruiting apprentices. There is strong support and guidance for businesses in Wales who are considering the route – I believe that we wouldn’t be where we are today without our apprentices.”


EU funds in Wales

The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Programme Checklist EU funds in Wales
Delivery Area All Wales
European Social Fund
Status  Live
Supported by the European Social Fund? Yes
Programme Lead

Welsh Government