HETV Skills Council Chair Barry Ryan on the Fund's 10 years

We caught up with the new Chair of the High-end TV (HETV) Skills Council to get his thoughts on the challenges and priorities ahead and the vital work of the HETV Skills Fund over its 10 years.

I’m very pleased to be joining as Chair of the High-end TV Skills Council at time where the HETV Fund celebrates its tenth anniversary, a huge milestone and a great achievement.

I am following in the footsteps of the amazing Christine Healy and I'm going to try and live up to the expectation of that and the great work she achieved during her time.

I've realised over the years, especially working with crews, that you can go from job to job and from company to company and there can be very little other than the nature of the industry that binds your career together. The one thing that does bind us together, however, is the training that the HETV Skills Fund has provided. It’s the glue that creates a commonality and provides a benchmark for progress. It could be your first ever industry job or a new stepping-up role as producer and each one will have been supported by the Fund. It plays a hugely important role in the industry.

The success of the HETV Fund is not only because the industry's been so financially successful over the past few years, but because of the breadth of what the Fund provides. The annual skills research undertaken by the HETV Fund and the input of the industry, through working groups, means we have the data to help us understand what is needed, how the industry has grown and where it's possibly going to.

The expansion of the industry and technology changes leading to the democratisation of how content is made and how it is distributed means that all of a sudden we're getting into a world where we might actually be a bit more democratic in who gets to work in the industry.

It's still an industry that is massively dependent on who you know and one of the most important things ScreenSkills and the HETV Fund has done and is continuing to do is constantly bring new people into the industry and reaching as diverse a workforce as possible. I think that's the most important thing it can do in the future.

The Fund is an essential tool not only for freelancers as they plan their careers, but as a massive incentive and support to producers and independent production companies, who don't have the capacity to train their staff or the ability to provide the support that someone will need to start and maintain a career path throughout the industry. And that's the essential thing we're all reliant on in the industry, skilled personnel.

I don't think the production boom in the past few years would have been sustainable without the ongoing support of the HETV Fund.

It’s important to reflect on these past 10 years and the vital work the Fund has achieved in that time but it’s also important to look forward. To see where we can do better, what needs to be done into the next ten years, and what further impact it can have. Whilst we can celebrate the success to date, our next task is to bring even more brilliant diverse people on board and guide the ship for the future.  I look forward to being part of that journey.

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