Employers urged to take part in major screen survey

Employers in the UK screen industries are to be asked to take part in a forthcoming survey designed to paint a comprehensive picture of the state of the sector and help address skills needs.

The Employer Survey is part of ScreenSkills’ new Skills Forecasting Service which published its first findings today.

Seetha Kumar, Chief Executive Officer of ScreenSkills, said: “We will encourage the whole industry to take part in the Employer Survey, so we have comprehensive evidence on skills. This will help employers plan and help us to target investment where it is most needed to support growth.

“We are already working closely with our colleagues in the screen industries on skills and training. But if we are going to address skills gaps effectively and diversify the talent pool, we all need a better understanding of the state of the workforce.”

Val Ames, Director of Production, Kindle Entertainment, and Co-chair of the Children’s Skills Council, said: “I will be filling in the survey because I recognise the importance of having the right talent in our industry and how training is key to ensuring that is the case.  As co-chair of the Children’s Skills Council, I also want to have children’s television properly represented in the findings.”

Christine Healy, Head of Production, New Pictures, and Chair, High-end TV Skills Council, said: “The success of high-end television production at the moment is putting pressures on the industry and it is important to understand those pressures in some detail – and not just anecdotally - so we can do something about them and plan for the future. All companies and employers should find the time for the survey when it is released.”

Iain Smith, Chairman and MD, Applecross Productions, and Chair, Film Skills Council, said: "I would encourage all employers to fill in the ScreenSkills survey to provide as much information on skills needs as possible. Our skilled workforce has been one of the driving forces of inward investment and making sure we continue to have the worker's industry needs is critical."

The Skills Forecasting Service, supported by National Lottery funds awarded by the BFI as part of its Future Film Skills action plan, is intended to provide solid evidence to inform future skills investment and help anticipate new skills needs such as those created by virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI) and other technological innovations. It is delivered in partnership with the Work Foundation.

The Employer Survey, which will open later this month, will alternate with a Workforce Survey to create an Annual ScreenSkills Assessment, corroborating national data sources.

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