Veterans offered chance of new career in television

Military veterans will be given the chance to retrain to work as location managers in the television industry in a new ScreenSkills initiative.

The training is designed to help ex-Armed Forces personnel, who are within two years of leaving the services, identify how skills acquired in the military can be translated into behind-the-camera roles in the screen industry.

Many roles in the military – such as  medics, drivers and cooks -  have a direct equivalent in the screen industry and others involve skills that could easily be transferred. The new ScreenSkills location manager scheme introduces veterans specifically to jobs which fall in the the location and unit management department. People working in this department find places to shoot productions, which not only look right but are are safe, accessible and cost-effective.

The investment in location management training is a response to the projected recruitment difficulties highlighted by the ScreenSkills Quarterly Barometer, a state-of-the-sector snapshot of skills needs published in December 2018. It found that location managers are in high demand and vacancies are increasingly difficult to fill.

The initiative is funded by the ScreenSkills High-end TV Skills Fund and will be delivered by the Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC) and Creative Media Skills.

During an initial information evening held at Pinewood Studios on 21 March, veterans will be able to learn about the challenges and rewards of working in the screen industry. They will have the chance to network with industry experts and will be given access to a number of online modules that will introduce them further to a range of topics, including the life-cycle of a high-end TV production and the different roles in the location and unit management department.

Following this, 12 interested participants will be selected by a panel of industry experts to attend a two-day intensive boot camp that is designed to give a thorough overview of the knowledge needed to be a valuable member of a location team. Finally, six participants will be given the opportunity to put the knowledge gained from the course into practice during a six-week paid work placement on a high-end TV show.

Kaye Elliott, ScreenSkills Director of High-end TV, said: “ScreenSkills is dedicated to developing talent and crew across the UK. Helping experienced professionals who are looking for a career change to identify how they can use their existing skillset in the screen industry is one way of achieving that. Locations and unit management departments, which are experiencing skills shortages, would really benefit from the skills of ex-Armed Forces professionals so we are really pleased to support this scheme.”

Kristen Platt, Client Success Manager of SSVC, said: “The self-motivation, people skills, resilience and problem solving that are a part of everyday forces life are very much in demand in the high-end TV industry, especially in the location department.  We're delighted that the industry recognises this and is investing in people coming out of the armed forces, to help them establish careers.”

ScreenSkills is being supported in our recruitment for these programmes by a number of veterans organisations such as Help for Heroes, Walking with The Wounded, The Poppy Factory and Services to Film.

For more information, call the ScreenSkills communications team, Louise Jury or Elisabeth ten Cate, on 020 7713 9800.

For more details about the scheme, visit

Note to editors:

About ScreenSkills
ScreenSkills, formerly known as Creative Skillset, is the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen industries - animation, film, games, television including children's TV and high-end drama, VFX and immersive technology. We work across the whole of the country to ensure that UK screen has access now, and in the future, to the skills and talent needed for continued success. 

We are committed to improving the diversity and inclusivity of the screen workforce. To achieve that we are investing in professionals from groups under-represented in the industry. Recent intiatives include Grips for Heroes, helping Armed Forces veterans to re-train as grips, and unconscious bias training for voters in the British Independent Film Awards.

About the High-end TV Skills Fund
The High-end Television Skills Fund was created in 2013 following the introduction of UK tax relief for high-end TV production. It was agreed those utilising the tax credit would contribute to a skills fund managed by ScreenSkills.

The key purpose of the fund is to invest in skills activity to develop freelancers and talent working at all levels in high-end TV, to advance their careers as well as bring new entrants into the industry. This activity increases and upskills the high-end television production workforce in the UK. More than £10 million has been invested in skills and training for the high-end TV industry since 2013.

About high-end television
Television production costing more than £1 million per hour are referred to as high-end television productions.

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