Supporting our workforce during the Covid-19 crisis

As the industry-body for the UK’s screen industries, ScreenSkills stands in solidarity with the largely freelance screen workforce and is here to support them through these challenging times.

Skills development

We are working to ensure training courses that were due to take place this year - and going forward - can be delivered in alternative forms. This will give professionals the opportunity to continue personal and skills development so that, once production resumes, the screen industries continue to thrive.

  • ScreenSkills ITF, supported by the TV Skills Fund which is supported by broadcasters and indies, has a slate of online training and support that will be live from Monday 23 March 2020. Initiatives so far include Daily Cuppa sessions with mental health first aid trainer Jude Spencer, spot coaching with Wendy Wilson, and camera training with Jeremy Humphries and various Pilates and yoga classes. Keep an eye on the course directory for other upcoming opportunities.
  • We will also have a daily schedule of seven sessions a day starting from 30 March. Sessions include:
    • Weekly training workshops with themes including storytelling, pitching and development, commentary writing and leading teams
    • talent manager run sessions, including help with and networking skills
    • industry greats masterclasses
    • lunch session with a commissioner
    • mini writers’ rooms
    • craft sessions
  • The new HETV Trainee Finder cohort will receive an introduction to the programme online from 25 March. Trainees will also receive further online training on topics including managing finance and mental health first aid.
  • Online workshops for First Break participants will be available from 6 April

In addition, ScreenSkills is developing various e-learning and online training opportunities. These include:

More information on this will follow soon, so please keep an eye on the website and newsletters.

In the meantime, there are already some resources and opportunities on the ScreenSkills website which might be useful:

  • Guidance on organising your work from home workspace can be found here
  • Information on building your personal brand and business can be found here
  • Health and wellbeing guidance can be found here
  • You can also sign up to our mentoring programme. Please note, we currently have more would-be mentees than mentors available, but even with a few years in the industry your experience could be useful to new entrants so please consider volunteering as a mentor. It can be rewarding and useful career development – and interactions with your mentee can take place over email, or calls over WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, etc.

Other support

For any other support, ScreenSkills encourages freelancers to consult the following pages:

  • The BFI has set up a dedicated Covid-19 Updatepage on its website that will answer key questions and direct industry to relevant resources and is urging practitioners across the industry and cultural sector to contact them with their key concerns using the new covid-19.queries@bfi.org.uk email address.
  • The Film + TV Charity offers a 24/7 support line which is free and confidential. You can contact them on 0800 054 0000 or visit the websiteto access their live chat service.
  • HMRC has also a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people who are concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (Covid-19). The helpline allows any business or self-employed individual who is concerned to get practical help and advice. You can call them on 0800 0159 559 and find more information on the 

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