Heathrow workers offered chance to work in screen

A thousand jobseekers previously employed in the aviation industry at Heathrow airport will be supported to transfer their skills into the screen industries.

The programme run by ScreenSkills in partnership with Pinewood Studios and Buckinghamshire and Enterprise M3 LEPs (local enterprise partnerships) will see participants offered information on how their expertise in aviation and its supply chain can be used in film, television and games.

Local Jobcentre Plus staff and Heathrow employers will identify 1,000 individuals to participate in an online introduction to the screen industries and receive support to identify their transferable skills. Those interested in pursuing a new career in screen will then apply for a series of online training events. All candidates will benefit from online training and 25 will also get work shadowing placements at Pinewood Studios in Iver, Buckinghamshire.

The Skills to Screen: Aviation programme will be funded by the Department for Work and Pensions following a £150 million boost to the Flexible Support Fund as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey said: “This is a rare opportunity to join a world leading sector that has vacancies to fill in roles traditionally associated with Hollywood, and we are encouraging those who are interested to get in touch with their local jobcentre.

“Keeping people connected to the jobs market and transferring their skills is a key priority as we build back better – so it’s great to see our jobcentres working with local organisations to help jobseekers switch sectors.”

The training and placements will be tailored to the skills of those who come forward, including those from retail, digital and administrative roles as well as aviation staff.

Previous Skills to Screen events run by ScreenSkills have identified people with expertise in areas such as accounts, digital and logistics as well as craft and technical skills such as carpentry and construction.

Seetha Kumar, ScreenSkills CEO, said: “Transferable skills from aviation and the supply chain at Heathrow in areas including logistics, accounts and office roles could play an important role in addressing the needs of UK’s world-famous film, TV and games industries. Despite the immediate challenges of Covid, the screen sector has skills shortages so there are jobs to be filled to meet strong consumer demand.”

Andrew M. Smith, Chair of Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Corporate Affairs Director at Pinewood Studios, said: “We are delighted to be backing this exciting initiative to support those affected by local job losses in the aviation sector. This new initiative will provide the opportunity to support many of those highly skilled workers to transfer their skills to our world-class screen industries based at Pinewood Studios and across this rapidly growing sector of the economy here in Buckinghamshire.”

Dave Axam, Chair of Enterprise M3 LEP said: “The Enterprise M3 area proudly boasts a thriving creative industry sector, from Shepperton Studios in Spelthorne, Longcross Studios in Runneymede, to the internationally renowned games cluster in Guildford and the highly successful Story Futures project within the immersive technology sector at Royal Holloway University.

“This is a great project which will identify transferable skills and provide people with the opportunity to potentially gain experience within a very exciting industry. The EM3 Recovery and Renewal Action Plan has identified this type of project as an important stepping stone for people who have been affected by the impact of Covid-19 and are looking for a new career.”

Please note all applicants have to be referred through their local Jobseeker Plus or their Heathrow employer.

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