The Screen Sectors’ Skills Task Force, backed by all the major broadcasters and streamers along with industry bodies and unions, has published a raft of recommendations to improve skills within the UK screen sector.
Chaired by former Amazon Studios Head of European Originals, Georgia Brown with Vice Chair, Pact CEO John McVay, the Task Force was created to address the “urgent skills shortages in physical production across the film & television sector.”
The Screen Sectors’ Skills Task Force has published a raft of recommendations, including a new remit for a pan-sector strategic skills body along with apprenticeship reform, strengthening partnerships with the education sector, and new plans to develop a pan-sector funding model.
The Screen Sectors’ Skills Task Force has put together a new approach to skills development across the UK, “aligned to the Government’s Creative Sector Vision and its ambition for £50 billion growth in the UK Creative Industries by 2030.”
The new proposal sets out a raft of recommendations, including a new remit for a pan sector strategic skills body that will be responsible for working across the sector to develop long-term pan-sector skills strategy and workforce plan. The Task Force’s lead option is to create the skills body through the transformation of ScreenSkills.
Additional recommendations include fresh revisions to the apprenticeship levy, more engagement with the Further and Higher Education sectors and putting more emphasis on work-place training opportunities that support inclusion, accessibility and provide “relevant and meaningful” career paths for those working in the sector.
Publishing the report, Georgia Brown said “The Film and TV industry is a dynamic part of the UK Creative Industries, and as an innovative, world-leading centre for content production, there remains a major growth opportunity in the decade ahead. However, to achieve this growth, we need a high-skilled workforce and despite significant commitment already being made, there remains a burgeoning disconnect between an increasingly strained workforce and the demand for skills that the industry makes of it.”
“To create the skilled, sustainable, diverse, and inclusive workforce required for the future, we need radical transformation from the ground up. Our three proposals – to strengthen strategy and partnership; to support sustainable growth and sustainable careers; and to put work-based training at the heart of skills development – are designed to move the sector beyond a reactive response to the immediate challenges and economic climate, and instead work together to seek long-term resolution of the skills challenge in the screen sectors,” continued Brown.
ScreenSkills said: “This report underlines the urgency of addressing the current and future skills challenges that face the screen industries. ScreenSkills is strongly committed to working towards a unified skills strategy, data and insight driven and built on partnership as the backbone for our creatively brilliant sector. We also recognise that, together with the broader sector, ScreenSkills needs to evolve so that we can all keep pace with the changing needs and demands of the talented workforce that we were created to support. Having worked constructively with the Taskforce and its members on this report, we look forward to continuing to do so as we work through the detailed recommendations.”
The Task Force, made up of 28 organisations from across the sector was convened to respond to the BFI Skills Review published in June 2022. Beginning in April 2023, the Task Force engaged across its membership and with the wider sector through working groups, targeted consultations and a bespoke skills investment survey that revealed that over £100m of collective investment is being spent on skills development by the sector each year.
The Task Force will continue until March 2024 to support the implementation of these proposals.
Task Force Membership
Georgia Brown, Chair
John McVay, Vice-Chair
British Film Commission
COBA (the Association for Commercial Broadcasters and On-Demand Services)
HETV Skills Council
MPA (Motion Picture Association)
National Film and Television School
Northern Ireland Screen
The Production Guild of Great Britain
UK Screen Alliance
Warner Bros. Discovery
The work of the Task Force was supported by Silbury Consulting’s Oliver Lang and Naomi Stone.
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