Skills body, ScreenSkills, has announced that the first production manager apprentices are being recruited now

The apprenticeships are are backed by National Lottery funding awarded by the BFI as part of its Future Film Skills strategy.

ScreenSkills supported the development of the new standard, to develop the training programme which starts next month.

Staff at ITV Studios labels will be the first cohort trained to the new production manager standard.

Apprentices will gain experience in positions based in Manchester at ITV Studios Entertainment and MultiStory Media across shows such as The Voice Kids, University Challenge and Countdown.

Over 18 months, production manager apprentices taking part will gain a wide range of skills, knowledge and experiences of people and project management, negotiation, finance, budgets and schedules, asset management, health and safety and international production.

To deliver apprenticeships employers need to register with training providers. ITV Studios has been working with registered media training provider All Spring Media to develop their production manager apprenticeship programme.

Jacqui Doyle, Head of Production and Talent at ITV Studios, said: “This apprenticeship provides us with an opportunity to promote senior coordinators with potential for management while supporting them in their development and offering really solid training.”

Tim Weiss, Director of Vocational Skills at ScreenSkills, said: “We were pleased to help develop apprenticeship standards for both production managers and production coordinators, and help bring together employers and training providers to plan their training and take on apprentices. We know there is a serious demand from industry for more people trained in these roles. Funding for the development of the training programme needed to deliver the standards has been possible thanks to support from the BFI, awarding National Lottery funds as part of its Future Film Skills strategy.”

Martina Porter, Managing Director of All Spring Media said: “Blended learning, which has become a necessity in the pandemic, is proving very popular with employers. It means apprentices can take charge of their own learning and can be on location anywhere in the world. However, that sense of a cohort and those opportunities for peer interaction continue to be important. So wherever it is possible and feasible to bring people together, we will do that.”

Production managers were identified by the 2019 ScreenSkills Employers’ Survey as a skills shortage area in film, high-end television and unscripted TV. The apprenticeship is designed for people with more than four years in the industry and looks at leadership, management-styles, human resources and team development skills. Training takes the form of blended learning, with some face-to-face training, Zoom tutorials, online learning sessions and assignments. Each apprentice will be allocated a mentor to support them through the apprenticeship.

Another skills shortage area is being addressed by the new production coordinator apprenticeship. The BBC is among the first to take these on. The BBC Academy is planning an external recruitment drive for the production coordinator apprenticeship with apprentices starting in January 2022.

Apprentices could be working in London, Salford, Glasgow or Cardiff across all production areas – news, children’s content, radio, and across commercially made content by BBC Studios: comedy, continuing drama, factual and entertainment programmes.

“It could be on shows like Strictly or Dick and Dom.” said Daniell Morrisey, Senior Editorial Early Careers Schemes Manager at the BBC.

The production coordinator apprenticeship will cover end-to-end production, production paperwork, booking crew and facilities, compliance, budgets, preparing scripts, clearances.

BBC Academy is working with All Spring Media to develop this 18-month programme, which offers people in their first jobs, such as production assistants and junior content producers, their next step in production management. A cohort of 29 production coordinator apprentices will start the programme in 2022. The BBC also intends to recruit two production manager apprentices.

Daniell Morrisey said: “There are skills shortage within production management at all levels. We’re delighted to have been involved in the development of the coordinator and manager apprenticeships. We really look forward to seeing these take off in our industry.”


Jon Creamer

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