Film industry to benefit from £488,000 investment in training

Introduction to set decorating course by Talking Point © Inkydinky photos

Leadership and management are among the skills shortage areas ScreenSkills is targeting in its 2019/20 funding round. The 22 new training programmes for film professionals were announced today.

More than 1,000 film professionals across the UK will benefit from the training which is supported by the BFI, awarding National Lottery funding, and by the ScreenSkills Film Skills Fund, with voluntary industry contributions. The commissioned programmes target the skills gaps and shortages that have been identified in the Annual ScreenSkills Assessment, a snapshot survey completed by a panel of industry experts.

Gareth Ellis-Unwin, ScreenSkills’ Head of Film and Animation, said: “Our investment in skills and training is carefully targeted to answer industry demands and to help develop a more inclusive workforce.”

Iain Smith, producer and Chair of the Film Skills Fund, said: “We are spending industry contributions on areas where know there needs to be investment such as leadership and management and job roles such as grips, editing and in art direction. I am also pleased to see the efforts made to help develop a more diverse workforce and address issues such as mental health.”

Leigh Adams, Director of Education and Skills at the BFI, said: “We welcome ScreenSkills’ funding awards, and their commitment to supporting craft and creative skills, as well as enabling the ongoing professional development of our workforce to help ensure it remains world-class.”

Submissions were sought in three key areas – technical, craft and creative skills, professional skills shortages and supporting under-represented groups. There were 46 submissions for funding and 22 programmes were commissioned. Some training is specifically targeted at supporting groups under-represented in the film industry, such as an editing and production coordinator programme tailored to support disabled talent. All programmes have to meet recruitment targets designed to develop a more inclusive workforce.

In 2019/20 six courses will aim to improve leadership and management. The Bird’s Eye View Future Leaders in Distribution scheme will return, while both the Independent Cinema Office in London and the Bauer Academy in Northern Ireland will deliver leadership programmes. 

Three courses will address issues relating to disability and mental health, including a mental health awareness training from Ffilm Cymru and an editing and production coordinator programme for disabled people from Four Corners.

Raising Films is being funded to support people returning to work after a parenting or caring break and The British Independent Film Awards are receiving support to extend the pioneering unconscious bias training offered to their voters last year to other voting bodies.

Industry request for training in digital marketing is being met by two programmes, one in data-driven marketing and another in effective social media marketing. Other courses will offer essential skills to production coordinators and Movie Magic budgeting and scheduling training for line producers. Three art direction courses have received funding, as well as a programme in editing and production.

Finally, ScreenSkills will continue to support grips and cranes qualifications at Buckinghamshire College and iFeatures, the development lab for debut feature filmmakers, run by Creative England, with support from BFI, BBC Films and ScreenSkills.

Full details of courses funded, the skills they are addressing, training providers and region served can be found in our press release here.

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