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Want to get into the film and TV industry? Try accounting says trade body

As millions of students prepare to receive their A-level results tomorrow (Thursday 17), new research shows that although over half of school leavers (53%) are interested in pursuing a career in the TV and film industry, but 18% believe it is realistic for them.

Amidst a blockbuster summer of film, and with the Barbenheimer fallout still settling, research conducted by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians), reveals that despite financing, running to schedule and budget being key parts of any production process, two thirds (67%) of school leavers think the only career opportunities are acting and creative roles. Just 4% think finance skills are essential within the industry and 5% think marketing and sales skills are, even though 59% of school leavers say they are interested in knowing about behind-the-scenes roles.

Last year, a record £6.27bn was spent on film and high-end television production in the UK, with Barbie (Warner Bros Studio, Herts) and Indiana Jones (Pinewood Studios, location shoots in Glasgow) among the most high-profile visitors.

However, nearly three quarters (71%) of school leavers think the film and TV sector is too difficult to get into unless you’re well connected or know someone, while the research also suggests that school leavers are unaware of the variety of opportunities a career in accounting offers, with seven out of 10 (68%) believing careers involving finance skills are boring.

Sarah Beale, CEO at AAT, said: “Accounting jobs aren’t just in accounting firms. Every business needs to have an accounting function including film, fashion, sport, music, and marketing. There is a huge variety of sectors that accountancy professionals can work in, that offer exciting career paths and open a world of opportunity to young people.”

Millions of school leavers simply aren’t getting the counsel they need to make knowledgeable career decisions, says the AAT – in fact, less than half (49%) say they have received good advice and guidance in how to best pursue a career in the sector they would most like to get into.

Beale continued: “It’s worrying that so many school leavers don’t feel they are getting the advice needed to help them make informed career decisions; especially at a time when many are keen to explore alternative routes to university and avoid hefty sums of debt.”

Holly Tarquini boasts extensive experience in the industry: Executive director of FilmBath, revered F-Rated podcast host spotlighting women in film, and visionary behind the globally acclaimed F-Rating as well as years producing & directing TV documentaries.

She said: “We have to make it clear that there are so many valuable skills and different routes into this sector. Finance plays a central role in TV and film in every stage of production, exhibition and distribution. Strong financial skills have been essential to me as a TV producer, a film festival director and as a mentor to others in the film industry. Film and TV is for everyone, not just those who act.”

Many young Brits are already gaining skills and a passion for film, with more than half (51%) enjoying filming and creating their own content for social media, while four out of ten are their family and friends go-to person for film recommendations.

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