New skills review announced

ScreenSkills welcomes a major strategic skills review to be carried out by the BFI on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The UK Skills Review is aimed at sharing current best practice and knowledge in order to develop long-term solutions to tackle the current and emerging skills needs of the screen industries and secure future growth.

The focus of the review is film and high-end television (HETV) production, reflecting the commonality of job roles, whilst also taking into consideration the skills needs of emerging technology such as virtual production.

It will build on existing research around the sector’s needs and deficits, including studies conducted by ScreenSkills and other industry organisations. It will identify key issues and current interventions, and propose new approaches where appropriate. The scope of the review sits across the entire talent development pipeline, from secondary education, further and higher education through to vocational training, apprenticeships and continuing professional development.

Creative Industries Minister Caroline Dinenage said: "The talent in the UK's screen sector is recognised around the world. It is vital that we protect the skills we already have and encourage growth in new and emerging areas to help our outstanding industries build back better. The BFI's UK Skill Review has an important role to play and I'm delighted to be working with colleagues from the devolved administrations to capture a snapshot of screen skills across the country."

Seetha Kumar, CEO of ScreenSkills, said: “The highly skilled freelance workforce is at the heart of the UK’s international success in film and television. We work hand-in-hand with our industry-led skills councils to sustain and strengthen that global reputation by delivering practical training across the whole of the country. We look forward to partnering with the BFI and colleagues to share this on-the-ground understanding of skills needs and ensure the UK has the right people in the right jobs to support continued growth.”

John McVay OBE, Chief Executive of Pact, said: “This review is happening at a critical moment for the UK AV sector as it faces an unprecedented shortage of skilled workers. Pact has been concerned for some time that this will inflate wages and ultimately damage both domestic and inward investment production.” 

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission, said: “This review is not just timely, it’s essential to keep the UK at the forefront of global film and TV production for years to come. I look forward to working with the BFI, contributing the inward investment perspective to the review. ”

Isabel Davis, Screen Scotland’s Executive Director, said: “There is no greater priority right now than growing the film and TV skills base so this is very welcome news.”

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen, said: “Skills development remains key to the growth of the Northern Ireland screen industry.”

Pauline Burt, Chief Executive of Ffilm Cymru Wales, said: “This review presents a fantastic opportunity to purposefully prioritise the screen sector’s wellbeing, building for a fair, inclusive and green future. It’s vital these values are at the heart of ‘levelling up’ and we welcome the collaborative approach.”

Writer-Director Steven Knight CBE, said: “The need for skilled crew and technicians in the content making industry is now urgent. If the UK is to maintain its reputation as the home to the world’s best film and TV makers, we must start augmenting our skilled workforce with an equally skilled new intake representing people from every background.”

Sally Joynson, Chief Executive of Screen Yorkshire, said: "We look forward to working with partners across the UK on this important and complex industry issue."

Ed Shedd, Chair of Create Central, said: " We need to show young people thinking about their careers, and those with transferable skills who are thinking about making a change, that there is a place for them in the world of TV and Film."

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