Future Film Skills

Ensuring the success of the future of Britain's film industry means investing in first-class skills and diverse talent. The Future Film Skills strategy, supported by the BFI awarding National Lottery funds and delivered by ScreenSkills, sets out to do just that. 

ScreenSkills was appointed to lead the delivery of the British Film Institute's new 10-point action plan, Future Film Skills (PDF). This plan , announced in 2017, aims to ensure the future success of the UK’s screen industries by investing in the development and maintenance of world-class skills and creating an inclusive workforce that reflects the society in which we live.

Developing an inclusive workforce underpins this strategy and complements the BFI's own work in driving diversity in the industry through the BFI Diversity Standards.

It will promote a wider understanding of the importance of skills and training and the opportunities to build and develop a career in the exciting world of screen. The strategy is big and ambitious. Here’s a quick look at what ScreenSkills will be doing in the four years to 2022 to make it a reality:  

1. Careers Service

We will offer a trustworthy and comprehensive guide to career paths and roles across the screen industries.  Careers information will be complemented by national and local campaigns promoting opportunities in film, television (including high-end drama) VFX, animation and games. 

Information will be regularly updated as the industry and its technologies change. The service will also highlight where to find opportunities for internships, placements and work.  

This means:   

  • There will be a go-to resource for everyone seeking information on screen careers
  • People can find clear, consistent, up-to-date information about our industry:
    • what we do, sectors and roles
    • skills requirements
    • education, training and employment opportunities

2. Accreditation

We will provide an accreditation framework that is designed with industry and quality assured. This will make it easy to find the best courses for starting or progressing careers in screen, from the new T-levels and apprenticeships to continuing professional development (CPD)

Advice from industry practitioners will ensure courses are relevant and updated to reflect changing needs.

This means:

  • Skills needs in screen will be met by graduates from accredited courses
  • The supply of recruits will be improved in areas of current and potential skills shortages

3. Apprenticeships, technical and vocational training

We will develop a new range of industry-endorsed vocational standards that address the skills needs of the screen industries.  We will work with industry, training and education providers and government to shape apprenticeships and T-levels so they deliver training in target areas and prepare new recruits to contribute from day one on set, studio or location.

This means:

  • Creating apprenticeship and technical training standards to address the skills needs of industry, including specific needs in the devolved nations and English regions
  • Developing degree apprenticeships with higher education partners

4. Skills forecasting

We are creating a Skills Forecasting Service to provide UK-wide data on screen industry skills, including current and emerging skills gaps, for employers, policy-makers and education and training providers.

The service will work with researchers in partner organisations to gather, analyse and share data, combining sources such as national surveys and specialist research foundations with industry practitioner panels. 

This means we will be able to offer accurate, timely and comprehensive data

  • So that skills investment and interventions can be targeted at what industry needs
  • To support the development of effective skills policy and target screen skills investment

5. BFI Academy

The BFI Academy runs courses offering talented 16- to 19-year-olds an introduction to the film industry. We will work with the British Film Institute to link Academy activities into the wider screen skills strategy.

This will:

  • Prepare new recruits to join the skills pipeline
  • Diversify the talent

6. Mentoring

We will have launched the ScreenSkills Mentoring Network, a UK-wide screen industry mentoring service using industry volunteers operating face-to-face, by telephone and online.

The initiative will help entrants, including those from under-represented groups, to navigate their first steps on the industry ladder. It will also help break down barriers for professionals, including parents and carers returning after a career break, who want to further develop their skills and careers.

It will:

  • Support more people who are currently under-represented in the screen industry
  • Retain valuable experience by helping more people return after a career break

7. Centres of excellence

We will strengthen the local talent pipelines and reinforce the UK’s world-class reputation for a highly skilled screen workforce by building on existing production hotspots to create Centres of Excellence.

We will develop new innovative partnerships between industry and education across the UK, working with the National Film and Television School (NFTS) to share best practice.

This will:

  • Give confidence in the quality and supply of staff and crew in and outside London
  • Support the development of new skilled talent UK-wide

8. Bursaries

Working with partners, we will offer bursaries to remove some of the practical barriers, such as travel costs, to taking part in skills development and opportunities for career progression.

This should:

  • Improve the take-up of skills development opportunities at every level, from new entrants to those returning to work after illness or a parenting or caring break
  • Improve workforce diversity by targeting awards

9. Continuing professional development

We will work with trade associations and guilds to foster a stronger culture of continuing professional development (CPD), developing high-quality business, management and leadership skills for professionals in every part of the screen industries.

We will ensure that there is a UK-wide network of high-quality accredited providers, delivering to a consistent standard and keeping up-to-date with new business models and changes in technology.

This means:

  • Promoting an industry-approved course directory where professionals can plan and record their CPD and employers can identify crew with industry-recognised credentials
  • Increased retention of skilled screen professionals
  • Helping professionals from other sectors to transfer their expertise to screen  

10. Industry mobilisation

We will encourage all screen professionals to share their skills, experience and ideas to help deliver the Future Film Skills outcomes. 

Under the banner of Giving Back, we want the screen industries to play their part in inspiring future generations and supporting the career development of other screen professionals. 

This means:

  • Offering how you can help options – from no-cost, one-off activities to ongoing support  
  • Changing the culture in screen to broaden access and diversity
  • Using an industry network to ensure the plan is delivering what is needed
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