UK creative skills body Creative Skillset has announced that it is rebranding as ScreenSkills to better reflect its commitment to supporting a skilled workforce for the UK’s screen industries specifically.
The move comes with the launch of a new initiative to secure a skilled workforce by calling on the industry to collaborate in finding and nurturing new recruits, upskilling existing screen professionals and creating a genuinely inclusive workforce in the face of the massive growth in production.
This will include mentorships through the new Screen Mentoring UK service, as well as career talks in schools, apprenticeships and opportunities to pay into the skills fund.
ScreenSkills has created a user-friendly online “Giving Back” menu that includes reminders to pay levies — now called skills funds — that help foster talent and industry skills.
The work of ScreenSkills is supported by the British Film Institute (BFI), with National Lottery funds awarded as part of the Future Film Skills program, as well as with funds from broadcasters, Arts Council England and industry contributions to the skills funds.
While the newly minted name aims for clarity and a reflection of the focus on screen industries, it also coincides with a merger with the London-based non-profit Indie Training Fund (ITF), a member-run organization that offers training courses for production companies and freelancers across the UK.
Industry figures who have given their backing include Sir Peter Bazalgette, chair of ITV; Josh Berger, president and MD of Warner Bros. UK, Ireland and Spain; Barbara Broccoli, producer at EON Productions; Paul W M Golding, chairman and interim CEO of Pinewood Group; Daisy Goodwin, writer, television producer and new ScreenSkills patron; Lord Hall, director-general of the BBC; Alex Hope, MD of Double Negative; Alex Mahon, chief executive of Channel 4; and Julie Parmenter, CEO, Molinare.
“I know from experience the challenges facing the screen industries in attracting and retaining a skilled and inclusive workforce,” said Richard Johnston, chief executive of Endemol Shine UK and chair of ScreenSkills, in a statement. “I also know that there is no silver bullet. But I do know that we in the industry have to play our part in all the ways we can.”
“We are asking our colleagues in the industry to help us move skills up the agenda and secure the talent pipeline. We need to invest more, in time and in money, if we are going to seize the huge opportunities for growth,” added ScreenSkills chief executive Seetha Kumar. “We have a strong infrastructure of studios and production facilities with more coming on tap. As capacity is ramped up, we must make sure we have the skilled workforce to keep UK production buoyant. We also want everyone of talent, whatever their background, to have the opportunity to join the industry, progress in it and help further current success.”