Published on: 16 November 2023 in Industry

Screen Sectors Skills Task Force announce new approach for skills development across the UK

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Today (Friday 17 November), the Screen Sectors Skills Task Force published their recommendations for a new and transformative approach to skills development across the UK film and TV industry, the first time the sectors have come together to tackle the challenges impacting skills needs and growth.

Made up of 28 organisations from across the sector and chaired by Creative Executive Georgia Brown, the Skills Task Force was created in response to the BFI’s June 2022 Skills Review. It has been working collaboratively since April 2023 to engage its membership and the wider sector to understand more about the current state of skills development. Directors UK is part of the Task Force and has been sharing insights on the skills needs for directors and drawing on our experience of delivering work-based skills training for directors. 

Today’s report sets out a new long-term vision for skills in the film and TV sectors, with a focus on working together and transforming the workforce from the ground up.  

It identifies key challenges to skills development before setting out recommendations for how they should be addressed. Among the challenges highlighted are the need to improve career sustainability, increase diversity and inclusion, and remove obstacles to skills priorities at all levels.  

The report makes three key recommendations to address these challenges. 

The first is to strengthen strategy and partnership and embed long-term screen sector collaboration. This includes a new remit for a pan-sector strategic skills body, and a new approach to partnerships with the education sector to build career pathways and boost industry-relevant learning. It also includes a renewed emphasis on industry data and analysis to assess the ongoing impact of skills development and inform future strategy. 

The second recommendation focuses on prioritising actions and investments that will build sustainable careers and support sustainable growth. There is an emphasis on boosting transferable skills to ensure an adaptable and employable workforce. Also recommended is increased support for employment mobility and flexibility, a wider roll out of inclusive working patterns, and a more joined-up skills development strategy across the physical and digital production sectors.  

The final recommendation focuses on the importance of putting work-based learning at the heart of skills development, recognising that this is the key to long-term skills development in the screen sector. This includes working with the UK and Nations governments to improve access to screen sector apprenticeships at scale and ensuring sector relevance through improved quality. There is also an emphasis on increasing work-based training opportunities for mid-career professionals to provide more placements that will help build experience and confidence in mid and senior level professionals and improve diversity and inclusion within the sector. 

Speaking about Directors UK’s role in the Task Force and the recommendations set out today, CEO Andy Harrower said: “Directors UK is pleased to be part of the Screen Sectors Skills Task Force. It has been invaluable to work with colleagues across the sector who are passionate about developing an industry-wide strategy to address the screen sectors’ skills needs. What’s fantastic to see embedded in the recommendations is the recognition that development does not stop at entry level. If we are to support sustainable careers, it is crucial to also develop skills for mid-career progression and those returning to work. There are many talented directors in our membership looking to build on their experience and take the next step in their careers, and the proposals outlined today are aimed at supporting skills development at all levels.” 

Head of Career Development and Skills Andrea Corbett added: “Embedded in this report is the idea of work-based learning as a means of progressing with confidence, an ethos which is important to Directors UK as we continue to support and encourage mentoring, as well as paid placement opportunities for our members. We know providing skills and training opportunities which focus on access to work are vital to improving diversity and inclusion, and we’re thrilled to see this at the heart of the report.” 

Today’s report from the Screen Sectors Skills Task Force and the recommendations it sets out are the first steps in implementing a new pan-sector approach to nurturing skills development within the Film and TV industry. We will keep you updated as the next steps in implementing these recommendations are put in place. 

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