BFI invests £900,000 National Lottery funding over two years to create a BFI Skills Cluster for Wales

Sgil Cymru, Creative Wales and Screen Alliance Wales (SAW) partner to launch the ‘One Stop Shop’, a BFI Skills Cluster for Wales supporting workforce development of the nation’s screen production sector.

18 April 2024

Filming The Arborist (2020) © Tom Sparey

We’re investing £900,000 in a BFI Skills Cluster in Wales, which will see Sgil Cymru, in close partnership with Creative Wales and Screen Alliance Wales (SAW), launch the new ‘One Stop Shop’ thanks to National Lottery good cause funding. It becomes one of seven BFI Skills Clusters across UK nations and regions which seek to work collaboratively with local industry, education and training providers to develop clearer pathways to long-term employment in film and TV production.

The One Stop Shop will receive additional funding from Creative Wales and BBC Studios, and work as a collaborative partnership of training providers, further and higher educators, and industry, working together to provide clear, coherent and transparent pathways to enter or progress within the screen industry. It will focus on providing opportunities for all those currently under-represented in the sector, and in its initial two year phase will seek to benefit and engage with over 2000 workers.

The new service will include four key strands:

  • ‘The One Stop Shop’ will include an online resource with a calendar of training and work experience opportunities, job postings and links to crew databases, making it much easier for people to access opportunities

  • The Start of the Journey – will focus on entry level training, community and educational outreach, and an ‘Opportunities for All’ bursary fund.  

  • Bridging the Gap – will work to bring further and higher education and industry closer together by providing coordinated work experience placements and a series of ‘Educating the Educators’ sessions.

  • Continuing the Journey – will provide further training and upskilling opportunities to those already working in the industry.

The One Stop Shop will be the place to visit when looking to forge or further a career in the screen sector. It will include bursaries to overcome barriers to entry, coordinated work experience placements, a full-time trained mentor on hand to provide advice to both new entrants and the existing workforce, and practical, newly imagined training schemes.  

The programme will be strengthened by key delivery partners BBC Studios,  NFTS Cymru, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Into Film, Culture Connect Wales, TAPE, Cardiff & Vale College, Coleg y Cymoedd; University of South Wales, Bangor University & Aberystwyth University who will lead the way with wider partners and ensure that  One Stop shop works for people in every region of Wales.

A team working on behalf of the skills cluster in Wales, will be employed to drive and deliver activity across the first two years to ensure a cohesive and impactful start for the cluster. Sue Jeffries, MD of Sgil Cymru, will be the overall lead for the project, with experienced location and production manager Lowri Thomas leading the team day to day.  

“Wales is a key nation for the screen sector in the UK, home to large scale productions which are distributed across the globe, as well as content in the Welsh language,” says Sara Whybrew, BFI’s Director of Skills and Workforce Development. “The partnership in place led by Sgil Cymru, will be building on vital work that has been started and we hope the Skills Cluster will provide a strong foundation on which to further build game changing training and work-based learning opportunities for diverse and representative talent across the nation.

“I am delighted to welcome Sgil Cymru, Screen Alliance Wales, Creative Wales, and their myriad industry partners into the BFI’s Skills Cluster portfolio, and can’t wait to meet some of the new talent they will support to get in, and get on, in a career in screen production.”