Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden (WBSL) has officially opened the doors to CrewHQ a dedicated on-site training centre.

CrewHQ is designed to support existing crew, create career routes for people of all backgrounds and foster the next generation of Film and TV production talent.

A team of industry professionals will deliver activity focused on ‘below the line’ crew across UK based WBD productions including feature films and TV; serving WBD divisions including WWB Pictures, WBTV and HBO. The initiative will “help develop talent, retain crew and create a diverse, skilled workforce.” With access to the WBSL studio facility, support services and WBD productions “there is an established route to build sustainable career pathways.”

Alongside on-site activity the programme will offer careers days “highlighting the breadth of roles available and inspiring the next generation of talent.”  Following a pilot careers day for Barbie, the next session will be held in December for Wonka.  The careers days are designed for new entrants as well as to support those with transferable skills looking to move into the industry. Other activities will include production and leadership training, funded placements, work shadowing and upskilling existing crew.

Emily Stillman, SVP Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, commented: “CrewHQ offers a dynamic training environment which allows us to react quickly to industry demand. Crucially we can also use our resources and assets to support new entrants to the industry and ensure we break down barriers of entry to open up career pathways for a more diverse workforce.”

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “The UK’s film and TV industry is one of the best in the world, renowned for first-class talent both in front and behind the camera. We want to maximise the potential of our creative industries by an extra £50 billion and support one million more jobs by 2030, and build a pipeline of talent that will power industry far into the future. Through the UK Screen Sector Skills Task Force, Warner Bros. Discovery has already helped develop a plan that will drive investment in production skills, and now CrewHQ will inspire and upskill the next generation by providing bespoke training and creating career routes for people of all backgrounds.”

Samar Pollitt VP Physical Production, Film said: “This new approach to training will have a significant impact in addressing industry skills shortages. When a production identifies a need to upskill existing crew in a particular discipline, we’ll deliver bespoke training by subject experts that fits around filming schedules.”

David Heyman, Heyday Films, commented: “I am very excited about the potential of CrewHQ. By addressing skills development on multiple levels from the point of entry, right through to management, the programme is creating a much-needed practical pathway into the industry. I’m very much looking forward to supporting the initiative and to seeing its impact on our business.”

Earlier this year WBSL announced plans to expand the facility with the addition of 10 new sound stages and another 400,000 square feet of production and support space growing the production capacity by more than 50%. The expansion will drive the creation of another 4,000 new direct and indirect jobs across the UK.

Jon Creamer

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