TV Skills Fund supports freelancers with training during Covid-19 crisis

Nearly 4,000 freelancers have attended around 150 online masterclasses and workshops funded by the TV Skills Fund since the beginning of lockdown.

Collaborating with a wide range of industry experts, ScreenSkills has run a broad programme for freelancers in an effort to help them get through these unprecedented times with high quality training and resources.

The TV Skills Fund support has so far enabled ScreenSkills to commission and deliver nearly eight weeks of training, offering around 18,000 learning opportunities to freelancers. Many participants have benefited from taking part in a number of sessions.

In the Industry Greats Masterclasses series, industry experts have been sharing the ins and outs of their careers. It is still possible to catch some of the sessions which were recorded, including former BBC controller Lorraine Heggessey, executive producer Sanjay Singhal and Curve Media founder Camilla Lewis.

During Lunch with a Commissioner sessions, freelancers have been able to hear from commissioners at the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV, UKTV, Amazon, Netflix and Sky. Talent managers from across the industry have been on hand to give career advice and CV tips.

Daily workshops and short multi-part training courses have been other important elements of the programme covering topics including development and pitching, being a successful freelancer, improving script writing practice, budgeting and scheduling, and mental health during lockdown and beyond. Additional workshops have been delivered with partners such as the BBC Academy and Directors UK.

Sarah Joyce, ScreenSkills’ head of non-scripted and children’s TV, says: “The response to the TV Skills Fund-funded sessions has been overwhelmingly positive with many freelancers saying they have been invaluable to them at this time, which is wonderful. We have more great sessions planned over the next few weeks. We would not have been able to respond so quickly in offering these sessions, or be able to continue to run them, without those who generously give their time and expertise, so thank you to them. A final thanks to all those who attend the sessions and take the time to tell us what they thought.”

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