As Vera is back on our screens (Sunday night, 9pm, ITV) two industry trainees from the region will be tuning in to see their work on screen.

Katie Jenkins, 22 from Durham and Kerry Ward, 25 from Consett gained production trainee positions on the latest series of the long running TV drama. With help and support from North East Screen, the region’s screen agency, the two trainees developed their skills and confidence through events and networking sessions before securing work on Series 12 of the ITV peak time drama, shot in the North East.

Kerry Ward, sound trainee, who studied Film and TV Production at Northumbria University said, “Being a sound recordist is something I’ve always wanted to do. When I’m on set I’m always learning and making new connections. It’s quite a lot of fun as I enjoy seeing how things work. On Vera, I’m always trying to shadow the microphone placements, and also check that I’m not going to be in the eye-line or any reflections. Learning on a set is very different to learning at University. I’m trying to familiarise myself with the basics of a set as I think this will help me in the future.”

“There is a sense of community on sets that I really enjoy,” said Katie Jenkins, camera trainee. “Working in the camera department, everyone is always willing to help me if I need it. They say if we teach you now, then you will know for next time. You end up forming close relationships with the team when you work together. You make a lot of friends on the job.”

The pair have taken advantage of the events and support of North East Screen who champion local talent and assist crew in getting jobs in the local screen industry.

Kerry continued, “I went to an online Crew Academy Bootcamp during the pandemic which helped me get on to the North East Screen Crew Academy. I found the sessions to be useful and interesting. Since then North East Screen has provided me with the opportunity to attend different talks that have helped with my confidence and to get myself out there, talking to people from the industry. I currently just want more experience and to keep jobs coming in. I like getting paid for something I enjoy.”

Katie continued: “I attended a North East Screen social event. There was a real mix of people at the event from producers and directors of photography to camera trainees and assistants. I found it extremely useful.”

Katie Strachan, Film Office Manager at North East Screen said; “Katie and Kerry both came through our events. They showed enthusiasm, commitment and a strong desire to work in the industry. They have both attended our networking and careers events and Kerry came along to our Open Day event at CBBC’s The Dumping Ground in June last year. It is fantastic to see them advancing in their career so quickly and gaining skills on a top ITV Drama such as Vera. We aim to break down the barriers of working in film and TV and in the North East where production is increasing and opportunities are growing. We can now say that a career in the film and TV industry in the North East is possible and the North East Screen Crew Academy is a perfect way to make the first step.”

Funded by NESIP (North East Screen Industries Partnership) North East Screen run Crew Academy Bootcamps where anyone over the age of 18 can learn the basics of working in film and TV production – from networking skills, CV writing, set etiquette to finding jobs. The Crew Academy also runs masterclasses, workshops, careers and networking events, on set open days and placements providing the bridging gap to industry and assisting local people into work. Find out about the latest events at

Kerry Ward at her desk with headphones around her neck

North East Screen Crew Academy sound trainee Kerry Ward


North East Screen Industries Partnership was formed by Combined and Local Authorities from across the region to level up the regional film and TV industries by more than doubling its 2019 share of the UK production market and delivering an annual economic impact to the regional economy of £88m.

The partnership includes Tees Valley Combined Authority, (representing the five authorities of Hartlepool Borough Council, Stockton-On-Tees Borough Council, Middlesbrough Council, Darlington Borough Council and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council), the North of Tyne Combined Authority (representing its three partner authorities Northumberland County Council, North Tyneside Council and Newcastle City Council) and the North East Combined Authority authorities of Durham County Council, Gateshead Council, Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council.