It is the best of times: the television business is booming. It is the worst of times: there is a skill shortage, so wage costs are soaring. Yet shouldn’t that make it the best of times again? Won’t television be forced to find and train a new generation of programme-makers who won’t all be white and middle class? This, I tell Seetha Kumar, the ambitious chief executive of ScreenSkills, is a battle she can win.
“We need to match talent from around the UK with skills shortages,” he told an audience at the National Glass Centre, part of the University of Sunderland, in early July. “And we want to help build sustainable infrastructure in different parts of the country linking universities, colleges and employers.”
The ScreenSkills scheme invites 75 more recruits for film and 40 more for television, from a variety of backgrounds, to apply for the scheme that offers paid work opportunities across the UK.
Previous film trainees have worked on Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Peterloo, Stan and Ollie, and Lady Macbeth.