Film industry in skills boost

Employers and stakeholder groups across the broadcast and interactive media
industries are supporting plans for a national skills day to boost the profile
of learning in the sector.

Veteran film producer David Puttnam, who is patron of the sector skills
council Skillset, has given his backing to the idea to encourage participation
among industry colleagues.

The contract-based, mobile nature of the film and television industries,
many of whose workers are freelancers, means committing to structured learning
is a challenge.

While some 90 per cent of people working in broadcasting are graduates, the
pace of change in the sector is fast, and companies rely on a constant stream
of new ideas and creativity to maintain a competitive edge.

"While the industry has a highly skilled workforce, there are skills
gaps in some areas," said Clive Jones, managing director of ITV News Group
and chairman of Skillset.

Nigel Paine, head of BBC training and development, believes the idea for a
national skills day is long overdue. "The industry should share what it
has to offer with prospective employees. It is an exciting industry going
through massive change using a highly-skilled and competent workforce," he

National Skills Day 2005 will be 19 May.

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