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Animation Bootcamps

Insight into the animation sector was provided by Kate O’Connor, Chief Executive of Animation UK, Phil Attfield, Co-founder of NextGen Skills Academy and Duncan Fraser, Head of Production at A Productions Limited

The animation sector is worth around £1.7bn to the UK economy with 16,000 good quality jobs and over 500 enterprises across the country.

It is also a key export (‘Peppa Pig the £2bn pig’). Formerly seen as the ‘Cinderella sector’ of TV and film, it’s now coming to the fore but is facing skills gaps, shortages, attrition and lack of retention in terms of higher-level skills (BFI Digital Content Sectors Report, 2023). This includes bridging the gap between entry level education/training and work in the industry for example, through bootcamps.

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has funded various digital bootcamps as part of their Digital Skills Investment Programme including Next Gen Skills Academy’s Accelerate in Animation (8-weeks, part time).

The bootcamp was mostly aimed at graduates who had the skills but lacked real-world experience, providing them with both in-person and remote studio experience (through specialist platform Rise). Next Gen received wrap-around support from WECA including how to prepare for an Ofsted review where the team had no prior experience.

A Productions Limited in Bristol, participated in the bootcamp. The company already had experience working with the higher education sector for apprenticeships and mentoring, as well as funding their own in-house training to meet specific project needs which were not necessarily focused on by traditional training routes. However as an SME, duration (e.g. staff commitments, university holidays) and costs were key challenges.

The boot camp was short-term and flexible allowing them to work around other commitments, whilst the smaller cohort (10-12) allowed them to have more meaningful relationships. The company also took an active role in designing the training.

Photo by Mo on Unsplash