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Film and TV apprenticeships launched as new Charter pledges greater diversity in Creative Industries

Major studios urged to adopt the British Film Institute’s (BFI) world-leading diversity standards

  • Film and TV apprenticeships pilot announced as new figures show booming job growth across the Creative Industries
  • New industry-led diversity charter to drive a step change across all creative sectors

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright has announced a new apprenticeships pilot scheme to enable young people from underrepresented groups to work on some of the most hotly-anticipated films and TV programmes made in the UK.

Visiting the set of the new James Bond film at the internationally-renowned Pinewood Studios, the Secretary of State also signalled his support for a new Creative Industries Council (CIC) Charter designed to drive greater diversity across the UK’s Creative Industries.

DCMS Secretary of State Jeremy Wright said:

The UK is a powerhouse for award-winning creativity enjoyed by millions globally. But our Creative Industries cannot remain the preserve of the privileged, which is why we are helping to create new opportunities to develop a more diverse workforce.

I welcome the Creative Industries Council’s Diversity Charter and also call for firm commitments from major studios, both in the UK and worldwide, to adopt the BFI’s pioneering Diversity Standards. Companies must provide opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to go as far as their talents take them in this thriving sector.

Building on calls by the CIC and ScreenSkills, DCMS has committed £100,000 to help deliver the innovative Film and TV Apprenticeships pilot which will enable around 25 apprentices to benefit from hands-on experience on the sets of major films and TV shows.

It will explore a new model for how high-quality apprenticeships can be used to deliver multiple placements on film and TV productions, as well as addressing skills shortages.

The pilot will launch in late 2019 with recruitment focussed on young people from all backgrounds and without previous relevant qualifications.

The CIC Charter commits the industry to take action in eight areas to create a more diverse workforce and output that appeals to people from all backgrounds and regions of the UK. It has been formally adopted by the Council, which is made up of leading figures across the Creative Industries including TV, computer games, fashion, music, arts, publishing and film.

The industry-wide pledge builds on a range of initiatives in place across creative sub-sectors including the BFI’s Diversity Standards aimed specifically at the screen industries.

Jeremy Wright has also urged US and UK film studios to follow the example of Paramount and do more to improve diversity in the screen industries by adopting the BFI’s Standards for every current and future production made in the UK.

His visit comes as Pinewood launches its new Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Strategy, with a commitment to encourage all future productions to take up the BFI’s Standards.

New figures show the number of jobs in the Creative Industries sectors stood at just over 2 million in 2018, an increase of 1.6% from 2017 and accounting for 6.2% of all UK jobs. The number of jobs in the Creative Industries has increased by 30.6% from 2011: three times the growth rate of employment in the UK overall.

Barbara Broccoli, OBE, Producer, EON Productions Ltd said:

We are grateful to Jeremy Wright for his determination to get the levy funds our sector pays into the fund unlocked for our largely freelance industry. The film industry is projecting severe skill shortages in the next 5-10 years and it is vital we invest in training through apprenticeships, to ensure that we have a healthy and diverse workforce in the future.

Tim Davie, Chair of the Creative Industries Council said:

Diversity and inclusion is crucial to the vitality of our world class Creative Industries. To sustain our success, and spark creative new ideas, it is vital that we draw on and develop the broadest possible talent pool, and ensure that our businesses and output reflect and resonate with people from all backgrounds.

I am delighted that the CIC has adopted the Diversity Charter. This is a major statement of intent from the creative industries and will help us drive real change across all our sectors, building on the range of initiatives already in place. I look forward to continuing work with colleagues from across the creative industries on this important agenda.

Amanda Nevill, CEO of BFI said

We are living in a time of unprecedented and sustained growth in the UK’s Creative Industries – from being home to the world’s longest standing and most loved franchise that is James Bond to launching the careers of some of the most exciting new storytellers in the world.

But we know that we need upwards of 10000 new entrants to join our industry so it is essential that we find new and existing talent. It’s fantastic to have such solid commitment from Government to insist on diversity and inclusion which sends out such a positive message of welcome to anyone considering a career in this industry.

Seetha Kumar, ScreenSkills CEO said:

We welcome the Government’s move to working with us to unlock the apprenticeship levy for the screen industries. The opportunity to earn while you learn has huge potential to encourage new and diverse talent to join our booming film and television sector while tackling its skills needs. The pilot will provide an opportunity to stress-test a new approach to using levy funds to deliver high-quality training. We are working on ironing out the details as it is vital to find a way for the apprenticeship levy to support UK screen.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

It’s great that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is investing in apprenticeships to help more young people from underrepresented groups to pursue a career in TV and film.

Apprenticeships give people of all backgrounds the chance to learn the skills they need to get a great job. There are a range of high-quality and exciting apprenticeship opportunities available in creative industries – everything from Junior 2D Artist, to Broadcast production assistant or Post production technical operator.

Lawrence Barton, Managing Director of GB Training said:

This announcement is welcome news. Apprenticeships are a powerful engine for social mobility. Evidence from a variety of industries shows how apprenticeships are helping young people from underrepresented groups and backgrounds gain access to some of the most competitive fields.

Industries that have traditionally been the preserve of the privileged middle-classes are now seeing barriers to entry broken down. Only by ensuring our labour market remains competitive can we ensure the UK’s creative industries remain world leading.

About the Film and TV Apprenticeships Pilot

The pilot is a response to the current difficulties experienced by the Creative Industries to fully take advantage of apprenticeships due to their legal 12 month minimum contract requirements. In film and TV especially, many roles typically last for far shorter periods, often 2-4 months. It is proposed that the model for delivering the apprenticeship pilot will be similar to Apprenticeship Training Agencies.

About the Creative Industries Council Diversity Charter

Vision Statement

We in the creative sector believe in people and ideas. To remain relevant, and to maintain our place as global players, we need to be inclusive in our outlook and our practice, and to draw on a diverse workforce. We will do all we can to make sure that our work, and the people who make it are fully representative of the richness, depth and diversity of the whole of the UK.

The Pledge

To effect meaningful change signatories of the Creative Industries Council Diversity Charter pledge to:

  • Collect relevant and meaningful data on diversity and inclusion
  • Increase the diversity of talent pipelines at entry level
  • Promote strategies to diversify mid and senior level hiring, development, retention and promotion within member companies and suppliers
  • Improve the diversity of our output so it serves and appeals to people from all backgrounds and regions across the UK
  • Develop and set meaningful targets within our organisations and with member companies and suppliers
  • Engage leaders within our sector to champion diversity and inclusion
  • Create best practice and guidance to help our organisations, member companies and suppliers to build inclusive cultures
  • Regularly report and publish our progress to Government and the Creative Industries Council.

About the BFI Diversity Standards

The BFI seeks to reflect the public – in the films we fund, the programmes we support, the audiences who watch them, and the filmmakers, actors and crews who make them. The BFI Diversity Standards, guide both our own activities and the projects that we fund. The Standards focus on disability, gender, race, age and sexual orientation (as they pertain to the Equality Act 2010) and also seek to ensure that people from lower socio-economic groups are better represented. The Standards are also a resource for the industry and we encourage them to be adopted widely. They have already been embraced by BAFTA, Film4, BBC Films, BIFA (British Independent Film Awards) and Paramount Studios. 

About the DCMS Economic Estimates

DCMS Sectors Economic Estimates 2018: Employment are national statistics used to provide an estimate of the contribution of DCMS Sectors to the UK economy, measured by employment (number of jobs). Six of the nine Creative Industries sub-sectors grew their workforces between 2017 and 2018. The ‘Architecture’ sub-sector experienced the fastest employment growth (7.5%). The ‘IT, software and computer services’ subsector has been a key driver of job growth in the Creative Industries. It employed 733,000 people in 2018, accounting for 35.9% of all jobs in the Creative Industries that year – an increase of 2.9% from 2017 and 51.7% from 2011.

The Creative Industries were defined in the Government’s 2001 Creative Industries Mapping Document as “those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property”.

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