ScreenSkills announces programmes to tackle skills shortages and improve inclusion in film

More than 1,400 people are set to benefit from new training announced today targeted at skills shortages in the UK film industry and at increasing diversity and inclusion.

ScreenSkills received applications from training providers worth £2.4 million for the £600,000 available in a new round of programmes that range from new entrants and early stage career to management and executives.

The skills drive is being supported by National Lottery funds awarded to ScreenSkills by the BFI to deliver its Future Film Skills programme and by receipts from films that have contributed to the Film Skills Fund, commonly known as the film levy.

Many of the awards will tackle skills shortage areas, previously identified in the BFI’s Future Film Skills research and in consultation with industry, including location managers, script supervisors, production accounts and draughts people.

The largest set of awards was four for art department training in response to specific shortages such as scenic painters.

The training that has been commissioned includes support for distribution and post-production which were also identified by the BFI as shortage areas as well as for animation which has emerged in discussions with industry as needing targeted help.

All the programmes are required to meet or exceed diversity targets in the participants they recruit. This is in line with the BFI Diversity Standards and is part of the concerted effort to create equality of opportunity for women, disabled people and those from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds and from disadvantaged backgrounds across all jobs and grades.

A range of initiatives are targeted specifically at creating a more inclusive workforce, with 11 of the 25 awards going to programmes to increase diversity and inclusion in the industry.

These include the Birds Eye View Future Leaders in Distribution scheme targeted at increasing the numbers of women at the highest level in distribution and a workshop designed to encourage more black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) stunt workers. A programme to develop 15 neurodiverse talents in the South West will build on work previously supported by ScreenSkills that produced five short films that were selected for the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

In an acknowledgement of the way talent moves between different parts of the creative sector, such as theatre, another successful award will support a short films initiative from Creative England in partnership with the National Youth Theatre and Sky Arts.

Training providers who have not previously worked with the film team at ScreenSkills include A New Direction which works with young people in London.

Three-fifths of the awards were made to organisations outside London, from Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber, the West Midlands, Northern Ireland, South West, South East, North West and North East, with a geographical spread reflecting applications.

Gareth Ellis-Unwin, ScreenSkills Head of Film, said: “This round of funding responds to industry demands – in addressing skills gaps and in making determined efforts to diversify the industry.

“By the time we next commission training, we will have the initial findings of our new Skills Forecasting Service to make sure we are keeping on top of trends as they develop. But we know that the production boom is creating pressures across the system so in addition to the support we receive from the BFI awarding National Lottery funds, it remains massively important that industry pays into the Film Skills Fund.”

The investment follows the inaugural CPD (Continuing Professional Development) Congress that took place in Salford at the end of July and brought together training providers from across the screen landscape for the first time to address training needs.

The new Skills Forecasting Service being launched by ScreenSkills this autumn will gather data to offer a more forensic understanding of industry demands in future.

For this funding round, ScreenSkills invited training providers to design, manage, market, recruit and deliver inclusive training programmes in four areas:

• New entrants.
• People returning to work after a career break or transferring from another sector or industry.
• Film professionals in priority areas from such as art directing, locations, accountancy and VFX.
• Developing management and film executives.

This round of funding was for training to be delivered this financial year (by the end of March). The next round of funding will open in April 2019.

For further information, please contact Louise Jury, Director of Communications and Marketing on 020 7713 9883 or

Note to editors: ScreenSkills, formerly known as Creative Skillset, is the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based creative industries - animation, film, games, television including children's TV and high-end drama, VFX and immersive technology. We work across the whole of the country to ensure that UK screen has access now, and in the future, to the skills and talent needed for continued success.

ScreenSkills’ diversity targets are: 50% female; 20% black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) and 40% in Greater London; 8% disabled and people who have a learning difference, impairment or long-term condition; 8% lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT)

About the BFI. At the BFI we support, nurture and promote the art of film, television and the moving image. A charity, funded by Government and earned income, and a distributor of National Lottery funds, we are at the heart of the UK’s fast growing screen industries, protecting the past and shaping their future across the UK. We work in partnership with cultural organisations, government and industry to make this happen. We bring our world-class cultural programmes and unrivalled national collections to audiences everywhere, and promote learning about our art-form and its heritage. We support the future success of film in the UK by nurturing new voices and fresh ideas, enriching independent British film culture, challenging the UK's screen industries to innovate and defining Britain and its storytellers in the 21st century.

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE.

The full list of programmes commissioned in this round follows:

Absolute Beginners: Practical Skills for Getting a Start in the Art Department, from the London Film School
This course is aimed at beginners looking to break into the field of production design. An intense 15-day course of practical workshops and in-depth career advice.

Boot camps – winter 2018/19, from Screen Yorkshire
Screen Yorkshire will run two more of their highly regarded film industry boot camps in Yorkshire and Humber.

Children’s Media Conference, from Manimation
Taking place in Manchester, this conference is designed to inform and train animation production companies, producers and freelancers in the key factors for success.

Create Jobs: Rushes, from A New Direction
A six-week film industry post-production pathway course for 18 to 24-year-olds.

Draughting at Pinewood, from Creative Media Skills
Three bespoke five-day draughting ‘learn and connect’ courses designed especially for working professionals who want to up-skill and broaden their network.

Film On, from 104 Films
Film On will train disabled participants to become camera trainees/assistants.

Future Leaders in Distribution, from Birds Eye View
Established in 2015 the prestigious leadership programme aims to address the lack of representation of female directors and CEOs in UK film distribution and sales.

Grips qualification, from Buckinghamshire College, Amersham
The NVQ Levels 2 and 3 qualification will enable those who are self-employed or self-funded as a grip to receive their ‘licence to practice’ and become qualified.

Grips for Heroes, from Guild of British Camera Technicians
Partnering with Help for Heroes this series of workshops and training sessions introduces veterans to the role of the grip in the screen industries.

Industry Sessions: Art Directing, from Talking Point Film and Television
A programme of industry panel sessions with established practitioners sharing their recent challenges and the solutions they have found, the panels will examine current and pertinent issues around Art Directing.

Introduction to Set Decorating, from Talking Point Film and Television
A four-day practical course based at Shepperton Studios and Classic Props Hire which will examine all areas of set decoration from script to screen.

Leading Lights in Distribution, from the Film Distributors’ Association
Senior management course for distribution executives designed to address the commercial demands of operating a business in the 21st century.

Life Magnified: Neurodiverse Film Talent Development programme, from 104 Films
The training and development programme will develop 15 neurodiverse film talents through the creative process of producing short films and involves mentoring and tutor support, building individual strategies to develop careers in screen, and developing wider industry understanding.

Location Manager, from Sgil Cymru
Using a practical simulation of a feature film shoot, the participants on the scheme will be trained in the various elements of location management.

Northern Film and Media Diverse Voices, from Northern Film and Media
The programme will support emerging professionals in the North East through training including boot camps and masterclasses; the aim being to address social-economic inclusion in the region and the wider lack of diversity in the screen industries.

Pathway to Location Management, from The Production Guild
Pathway to Location Management trains professionals in Northern Ireland to acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies needed to progress in careers as location managers.

Producing for VFX, from Escape Studios
The six-week intensive course is designed to take people from underrepresented groups and train them in the skills and knowledge they need to work in VFX production.

Runner Ready: Film Industry Training, from Signal Film & Media
The course is designed as a practical guide to getting and keeping your first runner job in the screen industries and aims to address the specific barriers to accessing work faced by new entrants in the North West.

Script supervisor talk, from University of West England Film and Watershed
The University of West England Film and Watershed are hosting a talk from script supervisor Dawn Gillam whose credits include Black Panther and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Script Supervision, from Guild of British Camera Technicians
The aim of this course is to practically explore the core skills all good continuity/script supervisors must have.

ShortFLIX, from Creative England in partnership with National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and Sky Arts
This UK-wide short film initiative supports aspiring filmmakers aged 18-25 to get their foot in the door of the film industry and comprises intensive workshops, mentoring, peer networking, masterclasses and online learning.

Step into Production Accounts, from The Production Guild
The course will support talented individuals who enjoy maths and films to enter the production accountancy profession in Northern Ireland.

Stunts introductory workshop, from Screen Nation Media
The workshop is aimed at introducing more BAME talent to the world of action stunts and features talks and practical advice from industry practitioners.

Unconscious bias training, with the British Independent Film Awards
The first film awards body has offered training to its voting membership to recognise where their unconscious biases are influencing their decisions. This bespoke, mandatory programme provides training to industry professionals in standards for equality and inclusivity.

Widening the Lens: Developing New Talent, from Encounters Festival
The training scheme will deliver an exciting opportunity for new and emerging entrants to the industry from underrepresented groups to develop and improve their knowledge and skills in key areas

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