Unscripted TV Skills Fund launches first short courses

The first courses funded by the new Unscripted TV Skills Fund are online now as it officially takes over from the TV Skills Fund.

The slate of short courses that proved hugely popular since the first lockdown is continuing thanks to the new fund which has been designed to boost investment in skills and training for those working in unscripted TV. They are available to all freelancers and production companies across the whole of the UK. New grade- and job-specific training will be also announced in the autumn.  

The new Unscripted TV Skills Fund will build on the work carried out mainly online since the first lockdown.

More than 9,600 beneficiaries benefited from 575 training opportunities, events and masterclasses funded by the old TV Skills Fund in the last financial year. Beneficiaries attended just over four courses each on average, enjoying a wide range of workshops and short courses from networking skills for freelancers to production management essentials, unconscious bias training, shooting for the edit and FS7 training for beginners.

Hannah Rice, who has cerebral palsy, attended close to 100 of the sessions and through networking in the Zoom chat during one for disabled talent secured a three-month casting researcher position on BBC One’s Catchpoint.  She was “hugely grateful” to ScreenSkills for organising them.

Kate Walmsley, from Glasgow, took about 160 of the short courses after being furloughed at the beginning of lockdown and through similar networking also secured further work.“ScreenSkills have been fundamental not only to the significant career progressions I've made in that time, but also in keeping me sane while I was on furlough,” she said. “I've also benefited hugely from excellent networking opportunities that would not have been available to me without ScreenSkills. I’m so grateful to the team for the support they offered to me, and so many others, during what was an incredibly difficult time.”

Other training supported by the TV Skills Fund over the last year included the Production Coordinator Programme where the final 12 beneficiaries are currently undergoing placements in Bristol and Cardiff. Training for the programme was also run in London, Glasgow and Salford.

The programme is designed for individuals with at least six to nine months experience and already working as a runner, production secretary, production coordinator or production management assistant and who want to pursue a career in production management in unscripted television. It provided seven days intensive fast-track training followed by the three-month paid work placement in an independent production company.

Details of the short courses and other training are shared when open on our social channels. You can also sign up to our dedicated Unscripted TV newsletter. Upcoming workshops and training courses include The seven deadly sins of self-shooting with Dan Donnelly, commentary writing with Patrick Uden, post-production management with Hannah Gosney and building and communicating your brand with confidence and Introduction to production accounting – unscripted TV.

Partners for the Unscripted TV Skills Fund at launch are ScreenSkills, Pact, BBC, Channel 4, Sky, A+E Networks UK and Discovery UK.

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