UK Screen Sectors unveil a new and transformative approach to skills development across the UK

Industry News  |  17 November 2023

The Screen Sectors’ Skills Task Force has published a raft of recommendations, including a new remit for a pan-sector strategic skills body.

For the first time, the UK Film and Television sectors have come together to tackle the systemic challenges to skills development in the industry. With a focus on long-term, pan-sector gain, the Screen Sectors’ Skills Task Force has devised a new and transformative approach to skills development across the UK, aligned to the Government’s Creative Sector Vision and its ambition for £50 billion growth in the UK Creative Industries by 2030.

Chaired by Creative Executive Georgia Brown, with John McVay (Pact CEO) as Vice Chair, and Oliver Lang as consultant to the seven-month project, the collaborative approach is anchored in sustainable growth and sustainable careers. The focus has been creating a strategic framework to support the thousands of individuals who form part of a shared sector workforce and to make the industry a more compelling and fulfilling career option for future generations.

Through a clear, three pillar strategic approach, the proposal sets out a raft of recommendations, including a new remit for a pan sector strategic skills body that will be responsible for working across the sector to develop long-term pan-sector skills strategy and workforce plan. The Task Force’s lead option is to create the skills body through the transformation of ScreenSkills.

Additional recommendations include fresh revisions to the apprenticeship levy, invigorated engagement with the Further and Higher Education sectors and putting more emphasis on work-place training opportunities that support inclusion, accessibility and provide relevant and meaningful career paths for those working in the sector.

The Film and TV industry is a dynamic part of the UK Creative Industries, and as an innovative, world-leading centre for content production, there remains a major growth opportunity in the decade ahead. However, to achieve this growth, we need a high-skilled workforce and despite significant commitment already being made, there remains a burgeoning disconnect between an increasingly strained workforce and the demand for skills that the industry makes of it.

To create the skilled, sustainable, diverse, and inclusive workforce required for the future, we need radical transformation from the ground up. Our three proposals – to strengthen strategy and partnership; to support sustainable growth and sustainable careers; and to put work-based training at the heart of skills development – are designed to move the sector beyond a reactive response to the immediate challenges and economic climate, and instead work together to seek long-term resolution of the skills challenge in the screen sectors.

Georgia Brown, Creative Executive Chair of Screen Sectors’ Skills Task Force

The Task Force, made up of 28 organisations from across the sector, including UK Screen Alliance and Animation UK, was convened to respond to the BFI Skills Review published in June 2022. Beginning in April 2023, the Task Force engaged across its membership and with the wider sector through working groups, targeted consultations and a bespoke skills investment survey that revealed that over £100m of collective investment is being spent on skills development by the sector each year.

With this report, the Task Force has set out a new long-term vision to resolve the long-standing skills challenge in the sectors. The Task Force will continue until March 2024 to support the implementation of these proposals.