The future for the screen industries looks bright, but the fundamentals must be in place to support the continued expansion and international competitiveness of these sectors in the years to come. Skills is one of those fundamentals.

The Skills for Success in the UK Screen Industries report, commissioned by WorldSkills UK in partnership with the BBC and produced by Work Advance, highlights the challenges and opportunities for technical education and apprenticeship providers to play a bigger role in solving the skills and diversity challenges facing these sectors. It also explores the barriers preventing young people from all backgrounds gaining great careers in the screen industries.

WorldSkills UK has committed to help make sure that young people are informed and inspired about a potential future in the screen industries, and these sectors can access the world-class skills needed to sustain growth and competitiveness.

Key findings:

Skills shortages threaten growth and job creation

  • Careers offered by the screen industries are incredibly wide ranging and require a mix of technical and transversal skills
  • Technical skills shortages are already impacting employers and could threaten commercial performance and jobs growth
  • Mid-level management skills are key to the onboarding, training and progression of diverse entry-level talent

Young people are eager to work in the screen industries but face multiple barriers

  • Young people have limited awareness of the wide range of careers on offer in the screen industries – only 13% of young people think the film and TV sector needs people skilled in carpentry and joinery, and 17% for engineering
  • Knowing someone who works in the screen industries is seen as the best way of gaining a job in the sector by a significant portion of young people – animation & VFX (26%), video games (23%) and film & TV (18%)
  • Only 31% of young people have received information, advice or guidance about a career in animation & VFX, 39% about film & TV and 40% about video games

Technical and vocational education and training has a bigger role to play

  • Screen industry employers increasingly recognise the importance of both academic and technical education in accessing skills and diverse talent
  • Technical education providers struggle to retain up-to-date knowledge and skills within their workforce, a situation exacerbated by skills shortages within industry
  • A range of practical challenges are hampering employers’ ability to make full use of technical routes to meet skill needs

“With a greater understanding of the challenges this sector is facing and the career opportunities available for young people, I’m really excited about the role WorldSkills UK can play, with our partners, in showing that technical education and apprenticeships in a range of skills areas can lead to exciting careers in the screen industries”

Ben Blackledge, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK:

It is clear the Screen Industries are thriving and growing but in order to stay relevant and competitive on a global scale, inclusivity is key. We must continue to raise awareness of the opportunities available”

Sarah Moors, Head of Early Careers and Staff Apprenticeships, BBC Academy:

“The findings show the importance of enhancing career advice, fostering strategic partnerships, promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, facilitating knowledge transfer, and adapting policies to support developing technical skills.  These actions are essential for making screen industry careers more accessible, ensuring the sector meets its future workforce needs.”

Penny Hall, Skills Cluster Partnership Lead at Screen Alliance North:

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