Seetha Kumar, Chief Executive of ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the screen industries, today (Thursday 6 July 2023) announced that she will step down at the end of December 2023.
“I am incredibly proud of everything that ScreenSkills has achieved during my tenure, and of all my colleagues, past and present, who have worked so tirelessly to make a positive difference to the careers and lives of people across the screen and creative industries regardless of who they are, or where they have come from. Together we are making the screen industries a fairer, kinder and more equitable place to work, helping people realise their dreams of a career behind the camera, and creating opportunities for thousands of people to do some of their best and most creative work,” commented Seetha Kumar. “But the industry cannot, and must not stand still. Skills development and training are more important than ever before and will remain my priority until I leave at the end of the year. ScreenSkills is best placed to ensure that there is a unified and coherent approach to skills, to ensure that the sector continues to be its creative best and contributes economically and socially to the health and wealth of the UK.”
Kumar was appointed in 2015 and, leading the organisation through its transformation from Creative Skillset to ScreenSkills in 2018, has grown the organisation’s reputation and impact. Under her leadership, ScreenSkills’ six Skills Funds - in partnership with broadcasters, streamers, independent production companies, industry organisations and informed by extensive data and insight - have delivered a portfolio of successful training programmes and initiatives in response to industry demand. These include Trainee Finder, offering paid placements in animation, children’s, film and high-end television; the creation of the Unscripted TV Skills Fund in 2021 which has doubled the number of broadcasters and streamers since launch; and the Future Film Skills programme. This five-year programme, with support from the BFI awarding National Lottery funding, supported 123,000 unique individuals, and offered almost 200,000 development opportunities, including support to over 90,000 new entrants into the screen industries.
More recently, ScreenSkills has called for fundamental reform of the apprenticeship levy in the UK and how apprenticeships are applied for the sector in England; and published a Diversity and Inclusion Playbook, making recommendations to create, support and retain a more inclusive sectoral workforce.
”On behalf of the Board and everyone at ScreenSkills, I would like to thank Seetha for her commitment, passion and single-minded determination. Under her leadership, ScreenSkills has delivered two significant achievements. First, it has brought the screen industries together, encouraging them to collaborate and work collectively as never before for the benefit of the thousands of people working in screen. Second, ScreenSkills has made it its mission not only to ensure that the screen industries are open to everyone, regardless of their background or level of educational attainment, but that they have continued access to lifelong training and development opportunities,” added Richard Johnston, Chair, ScreenSkills Board. “On a personal note, I would also like to thank Seetha for her stewardship of the organisation and her tireless work with partners across the screen industries and beyond to ensure that skills has remained integral to the ongoing success of the creative industries.”
Seetha Kumar will step down as Chief Executive at the end of December 2023, and ScreenSkills will start the search for her replacement shortly.