UKTV have signed up to the ScreenSkills Unscripted TV Skills Fund which is committed to supporting skills and training development for the unscripted workforce.
The agreement, which will apply to commissions from 1 September, means they will pay a percentage of all unscripted commission budgets to the fund which went live last June to address skills shortages and inclusion including boosting training in nations and regions.
As backers of the fund, they join the BBC and Channel 4, who were founding investors, alongside the other founding partners, Sky, A+E Networks UK and Discovery UK. Channel 5 and Netflix joined last year before Amazon’s Prime Video and ITV also signed up in Spring this year. Broadcaster and streamer contributions are matched by the production company.
The ambition is to increase training investment after some years where funding had fallen behind other parts of the industry which had benefited from tax credits.
Backed by Pact, the fund is designed to benefit producers with a stronger supply of trained professionals in key shortage roles across the UK with new training for junior editor, series producer, production manager and development team roles recently announced. Freelancers working in all genres of unscripted TV also benefit from a rolling slate of short courses as well as job- and grade-specific training.
A minimum of 50% of the fund is invested to support training beneficiaries based in the nations and regions, rising to 100% in specific shortage areas. Half of the membership of the council and of working groups who assess investment priorities come from out of London.