ScreenSkills HETV Skills Fund unveils three-year development programme for behind-the-camera talent

Jul 5, 2021

The ScreenSkills High-end TV Skills Fund has unveiled 19 mid-level crew identified by industry recommendation as Leaders of Tomorrow. They are to be championed in a comprehensive programme of mentoring, masterclasses, bespoke training and paid on-the-job training over the next three years. 

The Leaders of Tomorrow programme has been created with the aim of meeting industry demand for more effective career pathways to encourage increased diversity in leadership roles within the sector.  More than half the pool are Black, Asian or minority ethnic, three-quarters are female and two-fifths are based in the nations and regions. 

The pool of behind-the-camera talent was selected from more than 100 applicants who were nominated by a senior industry figure from across high-end TV for a place on the programme.   

The successful cohort will have access to expertise and resources tailored to what they need to progress to head of department or to a decision-making role in the future.  

The programme will run for three years – much longer than most career progression programmes – to provide sustained support and help all candidates achieve their leadership potential. 

Fifteen places on the programme are being supported by the High-end TV Skills Fund with industry contributions from high-end TV productions, with Netflix and Sky Studios funding an additional place each and the BBC a further two. 

Kaye Elliott, Director of High-end Television, said: “We know it is key that industry not only invests in bringing new people in, but also provides effective support to move people up into leadership and management roles. This comprehensive and inclusive programme has been designed to give mid-career professionals who are already rated by their peers the tools to progress into leadership roles and to ensure we have a vibrant and robust industry now and in the future.” 

Christine Healy, chair of the High-end TV Skills Council and COO of Watford & Essex, said: “Given the turbulence of the last year for freelancers, it is more important than ever that we put in place effective support to nurture and retain freelance talent for the industry.” 

Amanda Wilkie Sweeney, head of production, drama, at Sky Studios, said: “The UK is a global-leader in television production with a world-class and highly skilled pool of crew and off-camera talent. Working with ScreenSkills and the wider industry, we want to ensure clear pathways for new, diverse talent into the industry and importantly provide training, development and mentoring for off-screen talent to reach their full leadership potential.” 

The programme will provide the Leaders of Tomorrow with: 

  • A mentor/champion   
  • Access to an HETV Professionals Pool of industry experts for tailored one-to-one support, advice and expertise  
  • Up to three part-funded placements per year for up to three years  
  • Bespoke grade and skills-specific training   
  • Leadership and management training   
  • Networking opportunities and introductions.  

The participants will be able to access HETV match funding to support three placements a year across all three years if needed.  They will secure their own offers of work but the Leaders of Tomorrow programme lead, Hannah Green, will work with them to ensure continued development experience in line with their career goals.   

The HETV Professionals Pool includes a wide variety of specialisms including department leads from broadcasters and streamers as well as leads from HR, legals and finance to support the programme.  

They were among the industry professionals invited to make recommendations of candidates with at least two HETV credits in a mid-level role deemed suitable for the programme in departments such as accounts, production, locations and edit with skills shortages. 

Candidates were shortlisted and interviewed, with those unsuccessful on this occasion signposted to alternative ScreenSkills support. 

The successful 19 can be found here.

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