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ITV Studios and the BBC Academy support first apprenticeships for production managers and coordinators

Editing Suite, working on a mixing desk

@itvstudios and the @BBCAcademy support first apprenticeships for production managers and coordinators @UKScreenSkills 

In National Apprenticeship Week 2021, the skills body, ScreenSkills, announces that much-needed production manager apprentices are being recruited now to upskill screen industry professionals.

Staff at ITV Studios labels will be the first cohort trained to the new production manager standard.

Investing National Lottery funding awarded by the BFI as part of its Future Film Skills strategy, ScreenSkills supported the development of the new standard, to develop the training programme which starts next month.

Apprentices will gain experience in positions based in Manchester at ITV Studios Entertainment and MultiStory Media across shows such as The Voice Kids, University Challenge and Countdown.

Over 18 months, production manager apprentices taking part will gain a wide range of skills, knowledge and experiences of people and project management, negotiation, finance, budgets and schedules, asset management, health and safety and international production.

To deliver apprenticeships employers need to register with training providers. ITV Studios has been working with registered media training provider All Spring Media to develop their production manager apprenticeship programme.

Jacqui Doyle, Head of Production and Talent at ITV Studios, said: “This apprenticeship provides us with an opportunity to promote senior coordinators with potential for management while supporting them in their development and offering really solid training.”

Tim Weiss, Director of Vocational Skills at ScreenSkills, said: “We were pleased to help develop apprenticeship standards for both production managers and production coordinators, and help bring together employers and training providers to plan their training and take on apprentices. We know there is a serious demand from industry for more people trained in these roles. Funding for the development of the training programme needed to deliver the standards has been possible thanks to support from the BFI, awarding National Lottery funds as part of its Future Film Skills strategy.”

Martina Porter, Managing Director of All Spring Media said: “Blended learning, which has become a necessity in the pandemic, is proving very popular with employers. It means apprentices can take charge of their own learning and can be on location anywhere in the world. However, that sense of a cohort and those opportunities for peer interaction continue to be important. So wherever it is possible and feasible to bring people together, we will do that.”

Production managers were identified by the 2019 ScreenSkills Employers’ Survey as a skills shortage area in film, high-end television and unscripted TV. The apprenticeship is designed for people with more than four years in the industry and looks at leadership, management-styles, human resources and team development skills. Training takes the form of blended learning, with some face-to-face training, Zoom tutorials, online learning sessions and assignments. Each apprentice will be allocated a mentor to support them through the apprenticeship.

Another skills shortage area is being addressed by the new production coordinator apprenticeship. The BBC is among the first to take these on. The BBC Academy is planning an external recruitment drive for the production coordinator apprenticeship with apprentices starting in January 2022.

Apprentices could be working in London, Salford, Glasgow or Cardiff across all production areas – news, children’s content, radio, and across commercially made content by BBC Studios: comedy, continuing drama, factual and entertainment programmes.

“It could be on shows like Strictly or Dick and Dom.” said Daniell Morrisey, Senior Editorial Early Careers Schemes Manager at the BBC.

The production coordinator apprenticeship will cover end-to-end production, production paperwork, booking crew and facilities, compliance, budgets, preparing scripts, clearances.

BBC Academy is working with All Spring Media to develop this 18-month programme, which offers people in their first jobs, such as production assistants and junior content producers, their next step in production management. A cohort of 29 production coordinator apprentices will start the programme in 2022. The BBC also intends to recruit two production manager apprentices.

Daniell Morrisey said: “There are skills shortage within production management at all levels. We’re delighted to have been involved in the development of the coordinator and manager apprenticeships. We really look forward to seeing these take off in our industry.”

Other initiatives ScreenSkills is supporting a range of similar initiatives across the screen industries. These give employers opportunities to get involved with recently-developed standards in skills shortages areas. They include:

Working with the animation industry to procure a training provider and line up a joint training programme for the junior animator apprenticeship

Helping recruit candidates through NextGen Academy for the new camera technician apprenticeship

Collaborating with the VFX industry to continue to expand the range of apprenticeships at all levels, so they can build on successful existing training programmes and annual cohorts of apprentices

Working with Ravensbourne University to increase diversity in broadcast engineering through the promotion of their new degree apprenticeship for broadcast and media systems engineers

Supporting the shared apprenticeships scheme in Wales run by Sgil Cymru, which manages HR arrangements and organises placements for apprentices. Apprentices were placed across grades on War of the Worlds 2.

Supporting the development of more than 20 apprenticeship standards, such as the broadcast production assistant. Amazon has recently taken on two apprentices for this role.

On the junior animator apprenticeship, Tom Box, Co-Founder & Director of Blue-Zoo Animation Studio, said: “Future employment prospects are pretty bleak for young people at the moment, whilst the demand for animation is booming. So we need to use every trick in the book to upskill people into work, in the most inclusive ways possible. The junior animation apprenticeship is an ideal way of doing this.”

On the shared apprenticeship scheme in Wales, Adam Fox, Head of Production at Urban Myth Films said: “The three candidates that came to us were real assets and valuable members of the teams they joined. They were all keen, positive and hard-working and would all be considered for roles on our future productions.”

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