The film industry is the fastest growing in the UK, now worth £4.3bn to the economy and employing 66k people – approximately the population of Boston (Lincolnshire). This suggests a bright British film industry future, surely? Yet the industry is now uniting to ensure a future for the sector, by using £20m of BFI lottery funding to train a new generation of creative talent, and a new future of UK filmmaking.
This comes after a recent report claimed that 10,000 new workers are needed over the next 5 years. According to Future Film Skills, there are key skill gaps in the sector – such as art and production departments, camera, costume, hair and make-up, post-production, VFX, and even construction and electrical – all require funding for training to ensure a British film industry future.
This is why a new 10-point plan has been devised to tackle these gaps, which will be addressed over the next 5 years, supported by £20m BFI lottery funding.
This industry-led initiative is chaired by famous producer of the Bond films, Barbara Broccoli OBE, who had this to say: “We live in a diverse society and it is vital both culturally and commercially that our industry reflects this in front of and behind the camera. With industry, education and government uniting behind this new Film Skills Strategy and 10 Point Action Plan we know we will be able to increase the number of people working in film and ensure we have a representative workforce.”
Broccoli mentions representation as a key aim due to the new report also showing that the film workforce is comprised of only 12% from poorer backgrounds; 5% with a disability; and black, Asian and minority ethnic groups representing just 3% of the workforce. Whilst women, who make up 40%, earn on average £3,000 less than male counterparts – how can we have a bright future of filmmaking (lest a bright British film industry future) with these statistics?
The 10 Point Action Plan
- A trusted and reliable careers information service
A single, trusted online destination for anybody seeking information to start or progress a career in the industry. Offering links, networks and information for training and jobs in film throughout the UK, building on and linking to sites such as Into Film, HIIVE and BAFTA Guru.
- An accreditation system to guarantee employer confidence
Developed by the industry for the industry, in partnership with higher education, to win the confidence of parents, learners and employers, this will build on the achievements of existing work and will involve industry and employers in setting up the scheme.
- A suite of new Apprenticeship Standards
Complete and deliver a new Apprenticeship Standard, which will be applied to courses for a range of job roles throughout the industry including production, distribution and exhibition.
- A Skills Forecasting Service
A responsive skills forecasting and planning service to respond to industry needs, and ensuring the regular supply of data across the sector on future skills opportunities.
- Embed the BFI Film Academy into the skills pipeline
Develop the BFI Film Academy to work closely with industry, placing set-ready alumni as trainees on film productions across the UK.
- A mentoring service to break down barriers for new entrants and returnees
A new personal mentoring programme that offers bespoke support for individuals wanting to enter or progress in the film industry, and those returning after a career break. Including mentoring, pastoral care, coaching and opportunities to network, and awareness of specific job opportunities.
- World-class Centres of Excellence for screen-related craft and technical skills
Working with higher education and the new Institute of Technology to create a small number of world class Centres of Excellence for screen-related craft and technical skills.
- A new bursary programme to ensure wide participation
A new bursary programme designed to support individuals taking their first steps, and removing some of the practical obstacles to those currently under-represented in the industry.
- Professional development courses to maintain world-class skills
A new range of professional development courses, aligned with the latest technology and business skills will ensure our workforce maintains world-class skills.
- Mobilise the industry
Encourage the industry to support the future workforce through a number of schemes and campaigns including creating a database to match individuals with local needs, and which recognises enlightened employers who encourage skills transfer.