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HomeEntertainment$12M Funding to Help BFI Address U.K. Skills Shortage

$12M Funding to Help BFI Address U.K. Skills Shortage


The fight against the UK’s critical skills shortage – a shortage that experts say threatens to impact the continued growth of the film and TV industry – is getting a boost thanks to a new funding initiative from the British Film Institute.

The BFI revealed on Wednesday that it will allocate £9.6 million ($12 million) of funding from the UK National Lottery over three years to support skills development and training, a move following its own Skills Review of the BFI in 2022, in which an additional 20,770 full-time employees were needed in the sector by 2025, and calls for more accessibility and representation.

Of the $12 million, $10 million will be distributed across the UK to six so-called BFI Skills Clusters, which will enable partners to identify skills shortages and coordinate training opportunities for production staff below the line, while also helping people – especially those from underrepresented backgrounds – find viable routes to the screen industry.

Meanwhile, $2 million has been delegated to ScreenSkills, the non-profit fencing career development organization, for a Skills Bursary Fund to provide direct financial support to help new entrants and those already working behind the camera in the screen industry gain entry to new training, skills and opportunities for professional development.

“We seek to drive positive change across the screen sector through our funding from the National Lottery, as well as evidence-based policies – such as the BFI Skills Review – and working closely with industry and government,” said Harriet Finney, deputy CEO of the BFI. “The evidence gathered and the analysis conducted during the Review showed that radical change is needed to address the current skills shortages and to retain and train those already working in the sector.”

To oversee the BFI’s new skills activity, former ScreenSkills exec Sara Whybrew has been appointed head of the National Lottery Skill Programmes, a new role aimed at ensuring that the Institute’s work is unified and aligned with the needs of the industry.

The funding news follows the recent announcement of the industry-led Skills Task Force aimed at addressing the industry’s labor shortage and chaired by Georgia Brown, former head of European Originals for Amazon Studios.

In its June 2022 Skills Review, the BFI urged the display industry to “invest 1 percent of all production budgets in training.”

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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