Creative Skillset has adopted a new name, ScreenSkills, to more clearly reflect the work they do delivering a skilled workforce for the UK’s screen industries – film, television, animation, VFX (visual effects) and games.
The new identity is launched with an initiative, Giving Back, which calls on the industry to play its part in ensuring the UK has the skilled workforce needed to seize opportunities created by the film and television production boom.
It calls for greater collaboration in finding and nurturing new recruits, upskilling existing screen professionals and creating a genuinely inclusive workforce in the face of unprecedented demand and the massive growth in production.
Richard Johnston, Chief Executive of Endemol Shine UK and Chair of ScreenSkills, said: “I know from experience the challenges facing the screen industries in attracting and retaining a skilled and inclusive workforce. I also know that there is no silver bullet. But I do know that we in the industry have to play our part in all the ways we can.
“There needs to be greater investment in skills and training if the UK is to maintain its global reputation in screen. Other countries are investing in training and upskilling their workforces in the creative industries and we cannot afford to rest on our historic reputation.”
Seetha Kumar, Chief Executive of ScreenSkills, said: “We are asking our colleagues in the industry to help us move skills up the agenda and secure the talent pipeline. We need to invest more, in time and in money, if we are going to seize the huge opportunities for growth.
“We have a strong infrastructure of studios and production facilities with more coming on tap. As capacity is ramped up, we must make sure we have the skilled workforce to keep UK production buoyant. We also want everyone of talent, whatever their background, to have the opportunity to join the industry, progress in it and help further current success.”
ScreenSkills has developed a simple Giving Back menu outlining the ways in which everyone can play their part in helping widen the talent pool and create a workforce fit for the challenges of the 21st century.
The menu includes reminders to pay the industry levies – now re-named skills funds – that support training as well as gifts of time for mentoring, industry quality-checking of further and higher education and short courses with ScreenSkills’ Tick programme and supplying information to the new Skills Forecasting Survey which aims to inform planning and investment in training.
Centre of excellence initiative to pilot in Yorkshire
A groundbreaking initiative to establish a network of centres of excellence for film and television in the nations and regions will be piloted in Yorkshire.
ScreenSkills, the skills body for the UK screen industries, will work with Screen Yorkshire and the National Film and Television School to assess how joining forces can amplify the impact of targeted investment into training and build a greater skilled workforce outside London and the South East.
Yorkshire emerged as a logical place to pilot the ambitious plan to build production capacity in the regions because of work already carried out by Screen Yorkshire in developing partnerships with existing production facilities, further and higher education institutions including the West Yorkshire College Consortium, LEPs and other stakeholders.
It is proposed that centres of excellence will act as national and regional hubs for a UK-wide programme of mentoring and the delivery of local bursaries to best support emerging and established talent across the UK in the screen industries.
The initiative is supported by National Lottery funds awarded to ScreenSkills by the BFI (British Film Institute) as part of its Future Film Skills action plan which highlighted the need for 10,000 new recruits to the industry by 2022.