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The BBC and Channel 4 are offering support for TV freelancers with a two-week online programme next month, drawn up to address some of the challenges facing the sector.

Developed by C4’s training arm 4Skills and the BBC and delivered by the National Film and Television School, the Freelancer Focus Programme will feature masterclasses, workshops, training and wellbeing sessions on topics from financial planning to networking, CVs and skills development.

Kicking off on Monday 2 October, it comprises two Zoom sessions on each weekday, with guest speakers including Happy Valley creator Sally Wainwright, who offers tips on creativity and resilience, BBC unscripted commissioners Beejal Patel and Emma Loach on funded regional self-shooting courses, Bafta chair Sara Putt on career strategies, and Channel 4 senior digital commissioner Laura Marks on pitching to her team.

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Sally Wainwright
NFTS director Jon Wardle said the scheme “underscores our collective commitment to supporting the needs of the freelance community”, adding: “These free sessions aim to equip our invaluable freelance workforce with practical advice, insights and expertise so they can continue to excel in their craft.”

C4’ managing director of nations and regions Sinead Rocks said the production sector is facing “unprecedented challenges" that are hitting freelancers hard, acknowledging that while there is "no quick fix", the partners are committed to providing additional support. the UK freelance community,” she added.

BBC director of talent, commissioning, Dawn Beresford said the three organisations wanted to “take action that can be positive for the freelance community, both now and longer-term".

Full details of the programme are available here

Business boost

Meanwhile, 4Skills is offering up to six of C4's small- to medium-sized unscripted suppliers with a bespoke package of training and business needs.

Indies employing three to 15 staff and with a turnover of less than £6m are eligible for the 4Skills Business Boost. Following an initial consultation, participating companies will receive access to skills training courses, time with industry experts in sustainability, freelance support including development producders and production finance support, and advice to changes to their corporate structure.


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