Richard Johnston, Chair of ScreenSkills, the skills body for the screen industries, will step down at the end of April. As Vice Chair and with Board approval, Lisa Opie will assume the role of Interim Chair, and Kate Lyndon will be Interim Vice Chair.

“It’s been an absolute privilege to chair ScreenSkills over the last seven years, during which time we’ve completely reinvented the organisation and helped thousands of people across the industry. With Laura now in place and doing an amazing job, it feels like the right time for me to hand the baton on and continue supporting from the sidelines,” said Richard Johnston. “I’d like to thank the Board, the five Skills Councils and all the employees and partners of ScreenSkills for their incredible support and hard work over the last few years.”

Johnston joined the Board of Creative Skillset in June 2016, and as Chair from March 2017, led the transition to ScreenSkills, including the move from public to industry funding, the following year. His tenure was extended for an additional year to oversee the completion of the Skills Task Force Report, A Sustainable Future for Skills and the appointment of Laura Mansfield as ScreenSkills’ Chief Executive.

As Chair, Johnston has played a significant role in establishing the organisation as the skills body for the screen industries. He was integral to the creation of the Unscripted TV Skills Fund in 2021. To date, the Fund has received income of £5.67 million, and 367 production companies have contributed. He was also instrumental in ScreenSkills’ pivot to digital at the start of the pandemic and the subsequent Covid awareness training e-learning, completed by almost 90,000 people across the industry to date. Additionally, Johnston was key to securing BFI-awarded National Lottery funding for the Future Film Skills Programme. that supported over 120,000 beneficiaries including 90,544 new entrants to the sector.

“On behalf of ScreenSkills, the board and the team I would like to thank Richard for his leadership over the last seven years,” said Lisa Opie, Vice Chair, ScreenSkills. “He has made a huge contribution to the organisation, sharing his expertise, his deep knowledge of the market and his time, whilst providing sound advice. He has been a passionate advocate for ScreenSkills and the work that it does across the sector.”

Lisa Opie will lead the Board and ScreenSkills through the current Governance review and work being undertaken to develop the pan-industry skills strategy identified in the Skills Task Force report. A permanent Chair will be appointed later this year.

“I would like to thank Richard for his longstanding commitment to ScreenSkills,” Laura Mansfield, CEO, ScreenSkills, added. “His focus on the provision of high quality training and career opportunities for colleagues across the industry is inspiring. In no small way, the work and positive impact of ScreenSkills on supporting the careers of our beneficiaries right across the UK is due to his dedication.”



Pippa Considine

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