The first ever Pact Skills course is helping to upskill hundreds of freelancers and junior staff of indies across the UK.

Four hundred and fifty individuals have started the inaugural edition of the online course, which works like a university module, and got underway in September. There are multiple participants from the larger indies like Fremantle, Banijay, All3Media, CPL Productions, IMG and Argonon, as well as from hundreds of smaller indies.

The initiative has been paid for by indies through their Pact membership subscriptions and is completely free for their teams to access.

Pact developed the course in response to concerns from indies regarding the level of understanding amongst new entrants about how the production sector works. A group of Pact members advised on the content, to ensure it covered the subjects most pertinent to their businesses including IP and rights management, distribution, global trends and exploitation, commissioning, co-production and new commercial models for TV production.
It includes live masterclasses from industry experts, all of whom are giving up their time for free to support the next generation of indie production talent.

The course will also be licensed to universities from 2024, following a successful trial with Broadcast Production students at The University of the West of Scotland, so that students can complete the course and be industry-ready upon graduation.

A recent student who completed the course commented: “The course has been extremely useful for me to gain a proper insight and understanding into the workings of commissioning from start to finish, and all the aspects to consider that feed into this. In my opinion the course is a perfect foundation on which to build a future or current career in television, and one which no student studying television can do without.”

John McVay OBE, CEO, Pact, said: “I’m delighted that so many people are taking the Pact Skills course in its very first year. Indies recognise the value in investing in their teams – both employees and freelancers – and the huge uptake shows there is a need for this resource.

“Skills are vital to our sector, and Pact Skills represents part of a broader investment by indies – in this case, through Pact – to support those in the industry as well as the pipeline of new talent. We are continuing to develop Pact’s offering, with the on-going aim of helping to plug gaps in existing education and industry training provision, to ensure we have the skills needed in our industry now and into the future.”

Janet Oakes, Commercial Director of Pact member indie CPL Productions, commented:
“This Pact course content is an amazing resource for people new to our industry, and for those who have not had the opportunity to learn about how our business operates. It will really help people understand more about how decisions are made, and address many of the questions we are asked regularly by our staff. We have strongly recommended this course to our employees across various disciplines. We are already getting very positive feedback from those that have started the course.”

Paul Tucker, Senior Lecturer in TV Production at The University of the West of Scotland, added: “We were delighted to be involved in the trial of this course. The students involved got the chance to add to their industry relevant skills and now this superb resource is available for the industry and rest of the University sector. I look forward to integrating it with our current course.”

Michael Burns

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