Veterans offered chance of new career in television

Military veterans will be given the chance to retrain to work in the location and unit management department in a new initiative supported by the ScreenSkills High-end TV Skills Fund.

The ScreenSkills location and unit management training is designed to help ex-Armed Forces personnel identify how skills acquired in the military can be translated into behind-the-camera roles in high-end TV production. The programme, which will be delivered by the Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC) and Creative Media Skills, targets professionals who are within two years of leaving the forces. It will introduce the professionals to careers options in the location and unit management department, a key skills shortage area in the screen industry. 

The investment in location management training is a response to the projected recruitment difficulties highlighted by the ScreenSkills Quarterly Barometer, a state-of-sector snapshot published in December 2018. It concluded that location managers are high in demand and vacancies are increasingly difficult to fill.

Interested ex-Armed Forces professionals will learn about the challenges and rewards of working in the screen industry during an initial information held at Pinewood Studios on 21 March. They will have the chance to network with location managers and will be given access to a number of online modules that will introduce them further to a range of topics, including the life-cycle of a high-end TV production and the different roles in the location and unit management department.

Following this, 12 interested participants will be selected by a panel of industry experts to attend a two-day intensive boot camp that is designed to give a thorough overview of the knowledge needed to be a valuable member of a location team. Finally, six participants will be given the opportunity to put the knowledge gained from the course into practice during a six-week paid work placement on a high-end TV show.

Kaye Elliott, ScreenSkills Director of High-end TV, said: “ScreenSkills is dedicated to developing talent and crew across the UK. Helping experienced professionals who are looking for a career change to identify how they can use their existing skillset in the screen industry is one way of achieving that. Locations and unit management departments, which are experiencing skills shortages, would really benefit from the skills of ex-Armed Forces professionals so we are really pleased to support this scheme.”

Kristen Platt, Client Success Manager of SSVC, said: “The self-motivation, people skills, resilience and problem-solving that are a part of everyday forces life are very much in demand in the high-end TV industry, especially in the location department.  We're delighted that the industry recognises this and is investing in people coming out of the armed forces, to help them establish careers.”

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