The UK’s broadcasters are uniting to address the dire shortage of production managers in the country.
The BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 owner Paramount and UKTV have joined forces to tackle the crisis, which was thrown into the spotlight during the Covid crisis as disillusioned droves left the industry.
Each broadcaster is creating Production Management Skills Fund, which will hopefully create a larger skills base. Collectively, their investment comes to £1M ($1.3M) over the next 12 months and funding is available from this month.
Production companies will be able to draw from the funds to help junior staff step into ‘step up’ positions and attract people from adjacent industries with transferable skills (such as the theater or event management).
The broadcasters will pay for at least 50% of these salaries during productions. Where possible, there will be a focus on diverse hiring, small and medium-sized Indies and those based in the nations and regions (outside of London).
This comes after research from ScreenSkills laid bare the extent of the problem, with almost every production company in the UK struggling to find skilled production managers and co-ordinators.
With the UK’s production sector booming and UK broadcasters, streamers and overseas projects vying for space, the lack of production managers is in sharp focus.
David Pembrey, Chief Operating Officer, BBC Content, said: “Production management is a highly-skilled and vital part of our industry. We want this funding to make a positive difference to productions who we know are managing increased requirements – as well as help develop the next generation of production management talent.”
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