First Post, the post-production training scheme for new recruits, is to close because of a lack of funds.

The six-month scheme, devised by Skillset and the facilities sector, launched last year in London subsidised by£250,000 of London Development Agency money.

Pilots were subsequently rolled out to Bristol, Manchester and Cardiff with the financial backing of the South West Regional Development Agency, North West Vision and Media, the Welsh Assembly and other agencies.

With public funds unlikely to be renewed, Skillset is searching for alternative support and evaluating plans to roll the First Post concept into colleges and universities to provide an apprenticeship scheme, possibly leading to a new qualification. Elements of the course may also be sold back to the industry, delivered by independent trainers.

“The money we secured was never intended to be sustained beyond the project's initial term,” said Triston Wallace, Skillset facilities representative. “First Post was a means of experimenting with content and exploring different funding models.”

He added: “If the industry wants a graduate workforce it needs to either fund after-care courses or greatly improve its working relationship with colleges.”

UK Screen Association chief executive Gaynor Davenport called it “a travesty” if new forms of funding for graduate post training were not found.

More than 100 trainees graduated from the scheme, which cost around£8,000 per place. , of which employers were asked to contribute roughly£800.