Auroch_digital_bannerMax Hattler

Auroch Digital

Job title:
Trainee Games Programmer, Trainee Games Designer/Producer, Trainee Technical Artist

Collaboration is often cited as one of the keys to success and Auroch Digital’s founders, Debbie and Tomas Rawlings, are prime examples of this principle not only in the success of Auroch Digital and in setting-up the Bristol Games Hub but also as early adopters of the Trainee Finder programme.

Established in December 2010, Bristol-based Auroch Digital is now recognised as one of the world’s leading video games consultancies. The last year has seen rapid growth and Auroch Digital now employs twelve full time members of staff and five freelancers.

Yet with growth comes the need to find new talent and with that associated costs.  “When you are taking on an untested person, it can be a bit of a risk as a studio,” said Debbie. “If the person needs a lot of mentoring that might restrict the work output of the person training them.  What Trainee Finder has allowed us to do is tilt the balance so we can try people out and give them first hand experience of working in a ‘live’ environment and then hopefully, enable them to have full time work with us.”

Having trainees has allowed us to give first hand experience of working in a ‘live’ environment." Debbie Rawlings, Auroch Digital founder

Tomas heard about Trainee Finder through Carole Sartain, Creative Skillset Training Network Manager at a games event in Bristol. “Trainee Finder has been really beneficial for Auroch Digital,” said Tomas.  “It has given us access to great talent which has allowed us to take on some more interesting collaborations and grow in an organic way.  The process of application is very structured and we found it straightforward with good support from the Creative Skillset team.”

Heather Cooper, 24, is one of the four Trainees currently with Auroch Digital. “I did computer games, design and production at Staffordshire University and graduated with a first,” said Heather. “Auroch Digital is my first placement as a games programmer. I have been with Trainee Finder since June 2013 and it has been amazing.  I can’t believe the amount I have learnt and I get support all the way from the rest of the team."

Steve Martin, 28, tried several routes to get into the games industry. “I did a game design degree at Teeside university but didn't manage to get into the industry straight away,” said Steve. “I took work in IT support but kept looking for a way in.  Eventually I was offered work experience at Auroch Digital and on the back of that I was told about Trainee Finder. I applied and was accepted and I was ecstatic. I’m a trainee designer/producer and I’ve been here since January 2014. This is what I’ve wanted to do since I left college and it may have taken me a long time to get here but it’s been worth it as the whole experience is superb.”

Have perseverance, create your own projects and definitely consider Trainee Finder as a route into the industry.” Heather Cooper, Auroch Digital trainee

Pete Pielak, 31, is a trainee technical artist with Auroch Digital through Trainee Finder. “Games have always been my hobby and when I moved to Bristol I googled companies and saw Trainee Finder with Auroch Digital,” said Pete. “I love it and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

As well as running Auroch Digital, Debbie and Tomas ran games jams and socials for three years and it was this experience which led them to establish the Bristol Games Hub. “We recognised that there was a real community of gamers in and around Bristol so we came together to find office space,” said Debbie. “There are now thirty developers working under one roof and it’s a great way for us all to share ideas, costs and work in a collaborative environment.”


Looking to become a trainee? Trainee Finder matches exceptional individuals to training placements across the animation, film, games, TV and VFX industries. Through Trainee Finder, companies in those industries get the chance to hire the best trainees in the business and you can do paid training placements and learn in the workplace from real professionals. Click here for more information on what Trainee Finder can do for you.

Looking to hire a trainee or for skills to support your business? If you're a company in the west of England, get in touch with Carole Sartain, Training Network Manager, on 07824 145 370 |


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