Unscripted television skills fund marks first anniversary

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

A fund designed to increase investment in unscripted television is marking its first anniversary.

The ScreenSkills Unscripted TV Skills Fund was set up to future-proof the sector and boost the availability of skilled crew and talent across the country.

Next week, it will host a panel discussion at Sheffield DocFest discussing how the programme is helping the current boom in unscripted television production.

“In a short period of time the Unscripted Fund has made a great impact, delivering what commissioners and producers need for the continued success of our world-class sector,” said Jane Muirhead, Managing Director, Raise the Roof, and chair of the Unscripted TV Skills Council.

"I look forward to ongoing collaboration through the fund to achieve our shared mission of building a skilled and inclusive workforce in unscripted television, including expanding the number of people trained in off-screen roles in the nations and English regions.”

Since it was launched in June, the fund has generated an income of £1.33m, with 5 of the 7 training providers commissioned, based outside of London.

In total the fund it has helped 268 people, with a further 1,207 attending at least one free online training course.

In April, ITV and Prime Video signed up to the fund, joining founding partners BBC, Channel 4, Sky, A+E Networks UK and Discovery UK. Channel 5 and Netflix joined in September last year.

“Fundamental to the Unscripted TV Skills fund’s success in its first year is the industry engagement we have enjoyed. In addition to committed broadcaster/streamer engagement we also have over 40 leading industry figures actively involved in our Working Groups and Council,” added Sarah Joyce, ScreenSkills Head of Unscripted and Children’s TV.

“With fund contributions from 124 indies in year one, we have garnered incredible and invaluable support from industry. We are in the process of commissioning for year two and look forward to continued success and collaboration as we progress.”

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