Kaye Elliott reflects on the ScreenSkills year in high-end TV

The high-end television team at ScreenSkills would like to give a massive “thank you” to all the high-end television productions that have contributed to the High-end TV Skills Fund.

ABC Murders © Mammoth Screen / Agatha Christie Productions Ltd.

2018 has been a really fantastic year for high-end television production in the UK. The high-end television team at ScreenSkills would like to give a massive “thank you” to all the high-end television productions that have contributed to the High-end TV Skills Fund. All have played their part in supporting investment in skills across the UK to ensure the industry remains dynamic and forward-thinking. Quite simply we couldn’t do our work without your support.

For the fiscal year 2017/2018 we collected a record £2.6million into the High-end TV Skills Fund. This enabled us to support over 1,000 people, providing opportunities for individuals to enter or re-enter the industry as well as supporting crew and above the line talent to advance their careers.  

Continuing in 2018, our flagship Trainee Finder programme has supported over 80 individuals with placements on top productions including Victoria, Killing Eve, Fleabag, ABC Murders, Line of Duty and Shetland. Recruitment is underway for the 2019/20 cohort and we are increasing the number of places offered to 120. Make a Move, our hugely popular step up fund, which enables individuals to move into more senior grades, has supported over 60 individuals so far, including step ups to producer, costume designer, line producer and production coordinator.

Inclusivity is at the heart of our work and we are continuingly looking at ways we can provide better access to the industry. This year we match funded individuals from challenging socio-economic backgrounds across the UK to take up six-month placements in production companies as office runners. In 2019 we will be launching a new socio-economically focused programme First Break, working with broadcasters to provide paid work experience in TV. 

Another High-end TV Skills Fund priority is investment in grades where skills shortages are most acute, and this year we have invested in training programmes for location managers, accountants, grips, producers, directors, line producers, coordinators and electricians as well as for individuals working in post and VFX.  

We launched two new resources in 2018 to support industry skills development:  The Skills Passport helps freelancers find relevant training courses, complimented by bursaries to help fund them; and our bespoke Leadership and Management Programme provides individuals with the tools to become better managers of people in their production teams.  Both of these programmes will expand in 2019.

A booming television industry brings great opportunities as well as great challenges, and it is a key priority in 2019 for me to ensure every production company making high-end TV understands how they can play their part in supporting the growth of the industry via contributions to the High-end TV Skills Fund. Their contributions ensure the UK continues to have the skilled workforce that meets industry need, which we are rightly respected for across the globe. 

Finally, I want to thank the High-end TV Council and Industry Working Groups who give up their valuable time to provide expertise, direction and industry knowledge to ensure the HETV Skills Funds are being utilised to support skills programmes most needed by the industry.   I would also like to add a personal thanks to the high-end TV team who work tirelessly and passionately behind the scenes to ensure that the skills investments and programmes we deliver both internally and externally remain effective to the industry we serve and are truly making a difference. 

Please do check out our website and social media for more details on any of the schemes and initiatives mentioned and of course check back regularly for news about our up-and- coming programmes.  We look forward to working with you in the year ahead and here’s to an even more successful 2019!

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