About the TV Skills Fund

Gogglebox © Channel 4/Jude Edginton

The ScreenSkills Television Skills Fund was the result of an agreement between UK broadcasters to invest in training for the freelance television workforce. The BBCChannel 4, Channel 5 and ITV currently contribute.

Since it was set up in 2006, the fund has invested more than £10.4 million in the industry through a variety of funding initiatives. The fund has supported the delivery of courses and development activity that benefits those working in non-scripted genres of television across the UK, in response to skills gaps and shortages in those genres. The fund is managed by ScreenSkills in close partnership with the TV Skills Fund Council comprised of key funders and industry figures. 

It was superseded by the new Unscripted TV Skills Fund in June 2021.

The Television Skills Fund has supported a range of programmes and resources to address areas of skills shortages in the UK television industry and to enable individuals to begin, grow or advance their career in unscripted television.

These have been delivered in-house by ScreenSkills or externally by industry-recognised training providers using ScreenSkills funding. 

Series Producer Programme

Making the step up from producer to series producer is a big leap and ScreenSkills research has found a shortage of series producers in unscripted TV genres. Over the last five years, the programme has identified the next generation of brilliant and diverse series producers who help the industry win new business and find hit formats which will travel the world. 

The prestigious year-long programme was aimed at new or aspiring series producers who are experienced producers with a minimum of three years’ experience at producer/director level. It offers participants training, masterclasses, mentoring, career advice, networking and access and reduced fees to key industry events and festivals. 

More than 100 series producers have taken part in the programme and approximately 85% of them have become series producers. Ten of the alumni have become commissioners or assistant commissioners.

Production coordinator training programme

Now in its second year this UK-wide programme is training 60 new production coordinators for the TV industry. The two-week training programme is managed by the Indie Training Fund and delivered by the BBC Academy and industry experts. The training covers key responsibilities of the role such as budgeting, rights, post-production, negotiation and equipment. All participants on the programme are given a three-month paid placement with a local production company.

Training took place in London, Salford, Glasgow and Bristol.  

Bursaries

The TV Skills Fund is offering bursaries to individuals, at all stages of their career from entry level to experienced. 

Bursaries can be used towards most things that relate directly to training, including training fees, accommodation, care, disability access costs, and travel

Funding from the Television Skills Fund has been specifically targeted at improving diversity and inclusivity in unscripted TV and aims to support those from underrepresented groups, and those based in the nations and regions.

 Please take a look at our bursaries page for further details and how to apply.

Digital Cities

A week-long series of free workshops, masterclasses and networking events for the screen industries running in key creative hubs across the UK including Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Belfast, Cardiff.  Funded by the TV Skills Fund and delivered by the BBC Academy with a wide-range of key local stakeholders, each event is tailored to the profile of each city. To find out more about past events visit the BBC Academy website.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Digital Cities have been virtual events in 2020/21

Made up of three days of inspirational skills masterclasses, panel sessions and industry insights which directly reflect the Screen and Creative Industries in the regions, skills training to make sure current & new entrants have access to the latest digital tools and webinars which directly support the talent pipeline.

These virtual events ran once a month for five months starting in September 2020.  Updates are made on the website and through our social media.

Careers information for new entrants

  • Check out our job profiles in unscripted TV to discover the range of roles available and how to break in.
  • Discover wider job roles in the screen and creative industries via the Discover Creative Careers website
  • Learn how to get in, with advice on courses, apprenticeships and more.
  • Take a look at our career maps. These include:
    • The Unscripted TV: Craft and technical map, which covers the camera, lighting, sound, art, costume and hair and make-up departments. It's for those interested in news, factual, sport and entertainment TV.
    • The Unscripted TV: Editorial and production map explains the entry-level positions in the development, talent management, production and editorial departments.  It's for those interested in news, factual, sport and entertainment TV.
    • Career maps are also available for games, animation, visual effects, film and high-end TV drama.

You can find more resources and information for new entrants to the TV industry in the careers section of the website .

For more information about the TV Skills Funds or the programmes it has supported, please contact Sarah Joyce, Head of Unscripted and Children’s TV at: sarah.joyce@screenskills.com.


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