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08 April 2019

Meet the WFTV Sponsor… ScreenSkills

Panel discussion at ScreenSkills’ Diversity in Action conference with industry specialists.

Industry-led skills body, ScreenSkills is a proud supporter of WFTV and sponsor of the Writing Award at the Women in Film and Television Awards. Whilst you may have heard of them, you may not be fully aware of the range of activities they undertake and the different kinds of support they can provide to both individuals and organisations in the sector. So, we decided to get the low down from them…

We provide insight and career development opportunities to help grow and sustain the skilled and inclusive workforce which is the foundation stone of the UK’s global screen success.

What is ScreenSkills

ScreenSkills is the industry-led skills charity for the screen industries. We work across the UK to ensure that film, television including children’s and high-end, VFX (visual effects), animation and games have the skills and talent they need.

We are funded through industry contributions to a series of skills funds in film, high-end television and children’s TV – commonly known as the levy – and broadcaster contributions to the TV Skills Fund. It’s why we urge productions to pay into the skills funds because they are critical to the provision of skills and training.

We are also supported by the BFI, awarding National Lottery funds to deliver its Future Film Skills strategy, and by Arts Council England to share best practice from the screen industries to the wider arts.

The ScreenSkills careers team introduces young people to animation at Teen Tech 2018.

What do we do

We provide insight and career development opportunities to help grow and sustain the skilled and inclusive workforce which is the foundation stone of the UK’s global screen success. To secure the skills pipeline, we also provide information on careers and are doing work on mapping and quality-marking professional pathways, for instance, through our Skills Passport which highlights short courses identified by industry as being useful.
In a fragmented industry where many key workers are freelance, we aim to provide targeted and efficient interventions to help screen professionals at every stage of their career.

Camera trainees participate in masterclass at ScreenSkills high-end TV Trainee Finder induction.

What does that mean in practice

Working with industry through our skills councils and working groups, initiatives include Trainee Finder, our new entrant placement programme which operates across film, high-end TV and children’s TV, through to the High-end and Children’s TV Skills Fund programme Make a Move, which offers funding to enable people move up or across into a more senior role. (This is to be extended into film shortly.) The TV Skills Fund supports work including a year-long programme to give producers the skills and knowledge to become series producers. In addition, the skills funds are used to provide investment into targeted skills shortage grade training programmes available to freelancers across the UK.

We support established industry programmes such as iFeatures and respond to need across the whole value chain. For example, in distribution, we fund Birds Eye View’s Future Leaders scheme, a leadership training programme for women.

Caroline Lersten of Disney receiving her graduation certificate following completion ScreenSkills-funded Future Leaders in Distribution programme ©Elzbieta Piekacz

Diversity and inclusion are obviously key. We have targets in every piece of work we commission to underpin industry efforts to become more inclusive and we also back programmes specifically designed to improve inclusivity. For instance, recent Film Skills Fund awards include money to support neurodiverse talents in the South West and a workshop designed to encourage more black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) stunt workers.

We have just launched the ScreenSkills Mentoring Network with the ambition of matching 3,000 pairs of mentors and mentees by 2022, with a particular focus on providing support to those from groups under-represented in screen, such as people from BAME)backgrounds and with disabilities, people returning to work after a career break for caring or parenting, and those from out of London. We need mentors at every career stage so please consider volunteering or get in touch through the website if you are keen to be mentored. Women in Film and Television are part of our mentoring community of best practice.

We carry out research through our Skills Forecasting Service to identify skills shortages. We recently completed a survey of employers as part of our Annual ScreenSkills Assessment and would be grateful if you would consider taking part when we conduct a survey of the workforce in the coming year.

Money, money, money

ScreenSkills has bursaries available to help support career development and has been revising the rules to make them more flexible in how they can be used. The sums available depend on what you do and in which part of the industry you work and include help for individuals to attend courses in priority skills areas and those listed on Skills Passport.

Director of High-end Television, Kaye Elliott

Stay in touch

You can sign up for our newsletters to keep up-to-date with our work and opportunities. We have a general newsletter, plus letters dedicated in more detail to what we are doing in film, high-end television, children’s TV and television. None is sent more than once a month so you won’t be bombarded. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and by keeping an eye on our website: You can hear Kaye Elliott, our Director of High-end Television, and Hannah Corneck, our Continuing Professional Development Lead for film, discuss our work further at a special WFTV event on 16 April.

Many WFTV activities would simply not be possible without the support and commitment of our sponsors. We are incredibly grateful to them.