Skills gaps - the extent to which employers think that the skills of their existing workforce are suitable - were analysed as part of the ScreenSkills Assessment 2021.
Gaps in junior workforce or crew
Employers and hirers were asked to identify which skills they would like to see improved in their junior workforce or crew. These were the areas of most concern:
- Organisational skills (53%)
- Team working (50%)
- Resilience (eg perseverance and flexibility in solving problems) (47%)
- Understanding of Covid-19 safety measures (45%)
- Interpersonal skills (42%)
This may point to an increased need to deploy innovative organisational and problem-solving skills to tackle challenges such as remote working and Covid safety that the pandemic has generated.
Gaps in mid-level and senior-level workforce or crew
Employers and hirers were asked to identify which skills they would like to see improved in their mid-level and senior-level workforce or crew. These were the areas of most concern:
- Interpersonal skills (49%)
- The ability to manage and support teams/crew remotely or in person (43%)
- Covid-19 safety measures skills (42%)
- Mentoring skills (41%)
- Ability to organise work (41%)
So from an employer perspective, the survey was dominated by the need for staff or crew to improve their ability to organise and manage along with soft skills and Covid-19 safety awareness. While the latter is obviously new to 2020, the other perceived skills gaps were also identified in the 2019 assessment.
Pandemic-related changes in working practice in 2020 may have further prioritised their importance, as increased remote-working and heightened safety control placed greater emphasis on the range of skills that contribute to effective team-working.
Gaps identified by the workforce or crew
Finally, the workforce was asked to identify which skills they should improve. They replied:
- Financial and budgetary skills (35%)
- Public speaking (35% each)
- The ability to organise work (31%)
- Resilience (28%)
- The ability to deliver presentations and pitches (28%).
The workforce placed greater importance on financial skills, as well as the need to improve outer-facing communication skills such as pitching and public speaking. This could indicate a difference in priorities between employers and the workforce, with staff or crew wanting to improve the skills needed to win, as well as do, their jobs.
Conflicting opinions on what skills should be improved and what training should be
prioritised may hinder effective workforce development. The views of both employers and the
workforce may need to be taken into account to develop skills initiatives that meet all demands.
Note on the research
Fieldwork for the ScreenSkills research was conducted in Jan 2021 - during the Covid-19 pandemic - with nearly 300 employers and around 800 members of the screen workforce.
ScreenSkills Assessment 2021
For further details see page 26 of the full research that gives a snapshot of skills issues affecting the UK screen industries from January 2020 to January 2021.