Virtual production: 12 months of investment from the High-end TV Skills Fund

Virtual production is changing the way that content is made. Although seeing is believing, getting hands-on in this technical revolution is better.

Four people working on a virtual production set with lighting

More than 40 virtual production studios are now operating in the UK creating additional skills gaps, as highlighted by reports from StoryFutures. Recognising this opportunity, the High-end TV Skills Fund committed to up-skilling new entrants, mid-level and professional freelancers with four virtual production training programmes in 2022-2023.

The amount invested was £255,000 with a total of 375 participants in various career stages attending the online and face-to-face sessions across the year.

The high-end TV (HETV) virtual production open days, awarded to The Academy of Live Technology, travelled with a mobile LED wall to studios across the UK in West Yorkshire, London, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow and Belfast.

100 trainees on the HETV Trainee Finder programme and the HETV First Break programme received insights into how virtual production works on a production and had access to hands-on experience with the technical equipment, delivered by industry experts.

As a result, they gained a clear understanding of the virtual production methods, creative potential and job roles required, plus how virtual production will impact current roles.

The HETV virtual production training days, also delivered by The Academy of Live Technology, saw 130 young people (16 – 21 years old) from five different colleges in the Yorkshire region experience the world of virtual production with studio demonstrations at XPLOR in West Yorkshire. They also received support and signposting on how to take steps towards a new career.

Leeds Arts University, Leeds Trinity University, Met Film School, University Centre Leeds and New College Doncaster where all given funding to travel to the studio for the training.

This is an example of the feedback received: "The students thought the experience was excellent and really opened their eyes into this relatively new area of production. With the location being so close to our college, it was good for our students to also see something local with world class facilities. A hidden gem really!"

The HETV intro sessions course was designed to provide bespoke introductions to the technology and workflow specific to craft, technical, production, and creative departments in high-end TV. Awarded to The Academy of Live Technology, the programme trained 80 professionals across the UK with online and in person sessions, going above diversity and inclusion targets with 21% of attendees having a disability, 62% of attendees outside of London, and 23% from a minority ethnic background.  

Lilyana Houghton-freeman, one of our HETV Leaders of Tomorrow, explains in the video below how she is learning to apply virtual production techniques as she builds her career


The HETV & film virtual production taster sessions were designed to provide introductions for experienced professionals working in the high-end TV and film art department, design, props, set and lighting to understand how the new technologies impact these roles.

The Academy of Live Technology trained 65 professionals from high-end TV and film, in addition to those on the High-end TV Skills Fund Make a Move and Leaders of Tomorrow programmes.

There were a wide variety of speakers and industry experts delivering the training, including HETV Virtual Production Supervisors Chris Bouchard and Louisa Bremner, Real-time engineer specialist Michael Adefehinti, HETV Virtual Art Department Supervisor Jamie Lapsley, and Virtual Production Training Manager from Final Pixel Dr Jodi Nelson-Tabor.

You can also read here how freelancer Fiona Fowler landed her first job in virtual production thanks to the HETV Skills Fund.

The HETV Skills Fund will continue funding virtual production training for 2023-2024. You’ll find all our opportunities on the training hub. For any questions about the training,  contact

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