The BFI recently announced that the UK’s industry skills body, Creative Skillset, will deliver the majority of the BFI’s Future Film Skills Programme, a key strategic priority of BFI2022, the five-year plan for UK film.
The award endorses Creative Skillset’s recent shift to concentrate entirely on skills across the UK’s screen-based creative industries. As part of this re-focus, Creative Skillset has new industry leadership including a newly-appointed chair, Richard Johnston, who is also CEO of Endemol Shine in the UK and a council member of PACT.
The decision to award £19 million of National Lottery funding to Creative Skillset followed a competitive tender process, overseen by a panel of industry leaders, chaired by Barbara Broccoli. The panel was unanimous in its decision to appoint Creative Skillset and was impressed by its clear commitment to deliver a high-quality, strategic new skills framework and a ladder of opportunity for all individuals to easily enter the UK’s booming screen industries.
Creative Industries Minister Matt Hancock said: “Our creative industries are one of the UK’s fastest growing sectors, worth £92 billion to the economy every year, and we are determined to make sure this fantastic success continues.”
Barbara Broccoli, producer, Eon Productions and chair of the UK Film Skills Task Force said: “This plan represents a huge opportunity to help create a workforce that reflects our diverse society, and increase the number of people working in film to meet the needs of our thriving production industry. I’m confident that Creative Skillset with the support of industry, education and government, will be the most effective way of delivering this ambitious plan.”
The Future Film Skills Programme was launched by the BFI and the Film Sector Task Force in June 2017 at the House of Commons. It identified the need for 10,000 more people working in film, and to provide training for an estimated 30,000 jobs over the next five years. At the heart of the strategy is an industry-led commitment to ensure the workforce is representative and inclusive, with a proactive approach to ensure that opportunities exist for everyone.
The UK film industry contributes around £4.6 billion to the economy annually and is the UK’s fastest growing sector, currently employing 66,000 people. The UK is home to some of the world’s leading film production houses and facilities, with a global reputation for creativity, innovation and technical and craft excellence. VFX and animation in particular have seen a rapid growth in the workforce and over 70% of the total workforce are employed in film and video production.
Key to the successful delivery of the programme will be effective partnerships and Creative Skillset is committed to co-ordinating a unified approach and working with organisations that bring complementary skills and expertise such as the NFTS, Into Film, BAFTA, the British Film Commission, BECTU, the major broadcasters, trade guilds and industry bodies such as the Film Distributors’ Association and the Independent Cinema Office. Creative Skillset will create a network of partnerships through the nations and regions via bodies such as Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS) and national screen organisations.
Multi-award winning producer Iain Smith OBE, Chair of the British Film Commission and Chair of Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Council said: “Major studios base their productions in the UK because they value the high skills capability of the British industry and the training and education of our workers. The BFI’s skills audit demonstrates how now, more than ever, our industry needs a strong, independent body to lead the drive for skills.”