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Screen Sectors Skills Task Force chair Georgia Brown
Georgia Brown: Screen Sectors Skills Task Force chair

Screen Skills is set to be overhauled as part of a proposed industry-wide “radical transformation” of sustainable training and development in the TV sector.

The Screen Sectors Skills Task Force, which counts the training body and all major UK broadcasters among its 28 members, has published a three-point plan for action to address the “burgeoning disconnect” between the workforce and skills demands in TV production.

Seven months since its formation, the task force has made three proposals for change:

Strengthening strategy and partnerships by embedding cross-industry collaboration in the long-term though a new remit for pan-sector skills, a new approach to data and analysis, education partnerships and a commitment to sustainable funding

Building sustainable growth and careers through a focus on transferable skills, job mobility, extended pilots for flexible and inclusive working patterns and a joined-up strategy across physical and digital production

Putting work-based learning at the heart of skills development through apprenticeships, more placements that increase diversity and inclusion and build capability at mid and senior career level, and better delivery of skills development with more support for training

Georgia Brown, the ex-Amazon Studios Head of European Originals who heads the task force (pictured), said there was a “major growth opportunity” for the British production sector over the next decade.

“However, to achieve this growth, we need a high-skilled workforce and despite significant commitment already being made, there remains a burgeoning disconnect between an increasingly strained workforce and the demand for skills that the industry makes of it,” she said.

“To create the skilled, sustainable, diverse, and inclusive workforce required for the future, we need radical transformation from the ground up. Our three proposals — to strengthen strategy and partnership; to support sustainable growth and sustainable careers; and to put work-based training at the heart of skills development — are designed to move the sector beyond a reactive response to the immediate challenges and economic climate, and instead work together to seek long-term resolution of the skills challenge in the screen sectors.”

The task force, which includes representatives from the PSBs, plus the likes of Sky, Amazon Studios, Netflix, the BFI, Director's UK and Pact -  said that transforming ScreenSkills would help to deliver its vision.

In a statement, ScreenSkills acknowledged that, alongside the broader sector, it needs to “evolve so that we can all keep pace with the changing needs and demands of the talented workforce that we were created to support”.

ScreenSkills said it was “strongly committed to working towards a unified skills strategy, data and insight driven and built on partnership as the backbone for our creatively brilliant sector.”

In July, the organisation announced that chief executive Seetha Kumar is stepping down at the end of 2023 after eight years in the role. With just over a month to go, her successor has yet to be confirmed.

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