Current growth in UK film and TV production will require up to 20,770 additional full-time employees by 2025 and a future overall training investment of over £104 million a year, according to a review of skills by the BFI.
In the face of increasing pressure on the industry, the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) asked the BFI to undertake a comprehensive Skills Review, and has welcomed the findings and recommendations.
UK production spend was a record £5.64 billion in 2021, having risen 63% (£2.19 billion) since 2017. The Review evidences that this is leading to increasing – and often critical – crew shortages at all levels, which are beginning to negatively impact the industry and contributing to highly-stressed workplaces. It found that demand for skills had already led to increases in film production budgets, most acutely in the UK independent film sector.
Its recommendations and initiatives include:
The Review highlights a number of positive examples of work funded and driven by industry, including ongoing pilots to help unlock funding for training via the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy.
However, it argues that the scale of investment in training needs to increase dramatically. Based on the evidence gathered, the Review concludes that the production sector needs to contribute at least 1% of all production budgets to train their existing and future workforce. This would bring it in line with levels of investment in training made by other industries, such as construction.
The UK’s huge success as a global production centre, alongside current studio developments set to increase its capacity to host more, puts a significant strain on the workforce.
Research recently published by ScreenSkills and funded by the BFI through the Future Film Skills programme, predicts that continued forecast growth will require a further 15,130 to 20,770 full-time employees by 2025, estimated to require an overall training investment of over £104 million a year; a figure which is approximately 1.4% of the projected level of production spending in 2025.
The DCMS and BFI will urgently bring together and work with key stakeholders to develop an on-going industry-led response to the recommendations, including an agreed approach for co-ordinating, supporting and monitoring skills and training investment going forward.
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