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UK Film Industry Commits to Training and Skills

The proposed new training levy has been welcomed by members of the British Film Industry, believing that the new funds will form an important part of the future of film making in this country.

The current levy, which is a voluntary payment of 0.5% towards film budgets, is already providing a significant fund of over £3million for the training of UK film professionals. The fund is currently being run by Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for Audio Visual Industries, who have won consensus within the industry to make the levy mandatory. The revenue will help set up the Skillset Film Industry Training Board, which should be up and running in about a year.

Ministerial Backing for Film Funding

Minister for Lifelong Learning, Phil Hope commented, “The leading organisations in the British film industry have said loud and clear they want a mandatory training levy to fund the skills training they need to compete. The Government will continue to support and work with them to deliver this. Skillset and the UK Film Council have shown vision and leadership, building strong partnerships to drive investment in the workforce forward and I congratulate them for that.”

Film Minister, James Purnell said: “The film industry consistently produces creative and technical talent that ranks with the best in the world. This initiative will help ensure investment in training is there to retain the workforce and encourage more talented young people to fulfil their potential. The levy arrangements fit the specific needs of the film industry and this approach to training is right for its circumstances.” The Film Minister continued. “Our aim is to create a coherent policy to support those who want to contribute to the success of the UK film sector, from their initial steps into the industry, through to working on a first film, through to developing sustainable companies.”

A Bigger Future

The funds raised through the levy will be utilised to create A Bigger Future, the UK Film Skills Strategy, a collaboration between Skillset and the UK Film Council. The two bodies will work in tandem to improve film training and skills, helping to keep the UK film industry competitive. The levy will finance these initiatives and is predicted to generate an extra £500,000 per annum in excess of the money already being raised currently.

John Woodward, the UK Film Council CEO, believes, “This is a bold and long term commitment to skills training from the UK production sector and it speaks of a confident industry capable of looking beyond the “quick fix” and focused on the prospects for a sustainable and stable future.”

Dan Atkinson

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