Written by Shona Smith on Jun 30, 2021. Posted in General Interest

UK Skills Review to tackle current and emerging needs of the screen sector

The review will set the direction for travel for future growth to ensure the sector continues to be world-leading. The focus of the review is film and high-end television production, reflecting the commonality of job roles as well as the skills needs of emerging technology such as virtual production.

The need to increase the number of skilled practitioners is greater than ever during the production boom. The UK Skills Review, led by the British Film Institute (BFI) on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) looks to develop long-term solutions to tackle the current and emerging skills needs of the screen industries. It will identify key issues and current interventions, and propose new approaches where appropriate.

The review is aimed at sharing current best practice and knowledge to develop long-terms solutions to tackle the current and emerging skills needs of the screen industries. The review focuses on HETV and film production across the entire talent development pipeline, from secondary education, further and higher education and vocational training, apprenticeships and continuing professional development.

John McVay OBE, Chief Executive of Pact, said: “This review is happening at a critical moment for the UK AV sector as it faces an unprecedented shortage of skilled workers. Pact has been concerned for some time that this will inflate wages and ultimately damage both domestic and inward investment production.”

The UK Skills Review will build on existing research around the sector’s needs and deficits, including studies conducted by ScreenSkills and other industry organisations. The review follows BFI’s Future Film Skills Strategy that launched in 2017 that called for 10,000 new entrants to join the industry by 2021. Progress is still necessary to improve inclusion of people from underrepresented groups by enabling greater access to training and employment opportunities. A focus on the imbalance between regions and nations of the UK and localised workforce outside of London and South East is another focus.

Ed Shedd, Chair of Create Central, the industry body formed in 2019 to turbo-charge the creative industry in the West Midlands notes "Identifying the skills the industry needs and putting in place the training and development opportunities to generate new diverse entrants who can see a clear career pathway is vital for the lifeblood of the sector. We need to show young people thinking about their careers, and those with transferable skills who are thinking about making a change, that there is a place for them in the world of TV and Film."

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