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Broadcasters join forces to tackle skills shortage


BBC, Channel 4, UKTV and Paramount are coming together in a bid to tackle the shortage in production managers.

They have set up a Production Management Skills Fund to boost skill levels and capacity across the sector.

“Production management is a highly-skilled and vital part of our industry. We want this funding to make a positive difference to productions who we know are managing increased requirements – as well as help develop the next generation of production management talent,” explained David Pembrey, Chief Operating Officer, BBC Content.

Line producers, production managers and production coordinators are regularly cited as some of the most difficult roles for independent production companies to recruit for.

“As a former production manager myself, I know that PMs and PCs are at the heart of a production and integral to its success,” added Clare Brown, Controller Production Finance, Channel 4.

“Funded from 4Skills, this fund will help to develop and sustain that production management talent pool which is so critical to the continued growth of production in the UK.”

The shortage has been made more acute due to the growth in the filming, and increased requirements for production management for Covid-19  and Albert certification.

“Production Managers are vital to our industry; content can’t be created without finding and retaining top-class production management talent,” said Nan Whittingham, Vice President, Production UK, Paramount.

“This dedicated initiative is a major priority for us, and we’re delighted to work with our broadcast partners on it. It will support Paramount’s own learning, development, and skills gaps funding as announced by Ben Frow last year.”

Collectively the broadcasters are committing £1m over the next 12 months.

Production companies will be able to draw on the PM Skills Fund to support additional roles – including:

– A step up role for a more junior production manager or coordinator to work alongside and learn from a more experienced role;

– Transferring to a mid-level role for someone with transferable skills from another industry (e.g. event or theatre management).

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