ScreenSkills publishes state of the screen sector report

Killing Eve © Sid Gentle Productions

ScreenSkills has published the Annual ScreenSkills Assessment, a comprehensive analysis of existing data combined with a specially commissioned survey of more than 400 employers on the state of the screen sector workforce. It is the first major piece of research to draw an accurate and coherent picture of the labour market since the 2014 Creative Skillset Workforce Survey.

The research - supported by the BFI awarding National Lottery funds as part of its Future Film Skills strategy and delivered in partnership with the Work Foundation - has been designed to help identify potential causes of skills shortages and gaps by drawing together existing and new research in one single study. It also provides an in-depth overview of the size of the sector, diversity and inclusivity, and what companies are currently doing to develop the workforce.

ScreenSkills Head of Research Caterina Branzanti said: “ScreenSkills invests in the screen industries to develop a sustainable workforce and tackle skills challenges. To do that effectively, it is essential we have an accurate, coherent picture of the labour market. The Annual ScreenSkills Assessment provides industry with an up-to-date picture of the workforce so we can target investment more effectively.”

Findings show that approximately 211,000 professionals work in the screen industries. Women are under-represented across the sector, as are people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. The industry also faces social mobility challenges and employs a higher percentage of white male employees than the wider UK workforce.

The screen industries also continue to face significant skills gaps and recruitment difficulties. Employers said that the most common shortages relate to production and development roles and this sometimes has a negative impact on business activity. There are also significant shortages in advanced IT and in roles such as artists, technical artists and animators, particularly in animation, games and VFX.

Just over a third of employers (35 per cent) also identified a wide range of skills gaps within their workforce. They highlighted management, leadership and project management skills as most commonly lacking.

The Annual ScreenSkills Assessment provides an evidence base for a proper understanding of the current UK screen industries workforce. It also highlights several areas that require further research to target investments in the best way possible. This includes the need to look at the diversity statistics of each subsector, what is happening with the hiring and retention of older workers, the role freelancers play in the industry and relationships between diversity statistics, skills gaps and skills shortages.

The full report can be accessed here.

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