New research by Barclays has revealed that the media industry is feeling more confident about job creation than other sectors. Does this mean the TV business is set for a job hiring spree? Here’s the views of four senior figures from the business covering TV production, finance and technology.
Lorraine Ruckstuhl, Barclays
“With 66% of UK media organisations expecting to create new jobs in the next year, we are beginning to see signs of positivity and growth in the industry. Our research has revealed that on average only 58% of UK businesses are in a similar position, so we can clearly infer that this sector is feeling more optimistic than many others. What’s more, recently introduced tax breaks for animation and drama production in the UK are likely to provide an additional boost to the TV industry, and companies across the sector are increasingly likely to invest in new talent as a result.”

Debbie Manners, Keo Films
“A ‘hiring spree’ is probably overstating the case for the indie sector. A recent Broadcast indie survey suggests there has been significant growth for many companies over the last year which is encouraging. And we know from experience at Keo that growth in creative TV businesses is driven by the talent of the people we employ. But TV companies often carry heavy overheads – which are difficult to cover for most indies who have to win much of their business from scratch every year. So independants are likely to remain careful to employ only the best talent – and exactly what they need.”

Les Zellan, Cooke Optics

“From our perspective, the UK production market seems very buoyant. We’ve had a big increase in orders from UK companies in the last year, and in particular we’re seeing a lot of films, TV documentaries and high-end dramas such as Downton Abbey using Cooke lenses on digital “film” cameras for a cinematic look. To cope with demand, we have increased our assembly workforce by over 25% since 2011, including two apprenticeships. We make each lens by hand; it’s a very skilled craft that takes time to learn, but by increasing the workforce we’re bringing young people into the industry and passing that knowledge on.”

Andrew Sheldon, True North
“Yes! At True North we’re confident about the coming 12 months – we’ve got our fullest ever order book. Last year our team peaked at around 70 people, and I think we’ll pass that in the coming 12 months. There’ll be more jobs – but the key thing is who will fill them? We do our own post so we need great editors and assistants as well as key production staff… Shiver, who also work out of Leeds, are doing well and attracting staff, and MediaCity has soaked up more good people in all the key grades. Against all the odds, there’s even a small blip in activity in Manchester too (!) We’re expecting a competitive few months as we try to secure the best staff in key positions.”

Tim Dams

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