Georgia Brown to chair industry-led Skills Task Force for UK’s screen sectors

Group will address urgent skills shortages in production and respond to recommendations from the BFI Skills Review.

29 March 2023

A film crew prepare to shoot an exterior scene.

Creative executive Georgia Brown will chair the Skills Task Force, the industry-led group which is addressing the critical skilled labour shortages within the UK’s production screen sectors. The Task Force will comprise senior representatives from all the major broadcasters, studios and streamers, as well as key organisations including ScreenSkills, PACT and national screen agencies, and has been convened by the BFI in response to the BFI Skills Review commissioned by the DCMS. The Task Force is committed to working together to design a comprehensive and clear industry response to this review, building on ongoing work by ScreenSkills, in order to address the skills shortages, gaps and related challenges over the next five years.

Chair of the Task Force Georgia Brown was formerly Head of Amazon Studios, Europe, and has also held senior leadership roles at Fremantle Media, BBC Worldwide and Shine International. Brown will spearhead the project, which has over 20 senior representatives from all leading organisations actively involved in film and television production in the UK.

The Task Force will build upon the BFI Skills Review and together they will produce and support the delivery of a plan of action in order to grow, train and retain the largely freelance screen sector workforce, while addressing other top line recommendations from the Review. Intrinsic to all the work on skills undertaken by the Task Force is a commitment to delivering a significant improvement in equity, diversity and inclusion, tackling mental health and retention issues, as well as having a UK-wide perspective. The process will be supported with external media and legal consultancy to provide robust governance and process to ensure compliance with competition law.  

Three focused workstreams have been established: industry training and investment; improving access to the Apprenticeship Levy; and pathways to industry from further and higher education. The resulting outputs will assign clear responsibility for delivery of each element to relevant parts of the industry, and where appropriate, the Task Force will make recommendations to HM Government.

In order to implement the step change needed to address the skills gap and ensure our workforce can meet the demands of our growing industry, the Skills Review made it very clear that an industry-led response was fundamental. We are therefore really pleased with the commitment and dedication of these key industry players, and with an executive of Georgia’s calibre and experience at the helm, we believe industry working with key partners such as ScreenSkills, can come together to drive this work forward and help ensure sustainable change.Ben Roberts, BFI CEO
The UK has an important and well-earned reputation for being the centre of creative excellence, however if we want to accelerate growth and build a sustainable industry, we must accelerate change by creating a robust framework to develop, support, train and ignite the next generation of talent. This Task Force will build on and complement the essential strategic work already undertaken by industry, ScreenSkills, the BFI and public bodies across the UK and it’s an honour to work collaboratively with colleagues from across the industry to lead this important work.Georgia Brown, Chair of the UK Production Skills Task Force for the Screen Sector
Our booming film and TV industries are creating thousands of jobs across the country but we must make sure we have a skilled workforce ready to seize these fantastic opportunities. We supported the BFI's Review to help create a talent pipeline, boost economic growth and create inspiring new content to be enjoyed by audiences at home and abroad.Creative Industries Minister Julia Lopez
The skills challenge facing the screen industry is urgent. ScreenSkills is leading the way by providing strategic industry leadership to rise to this challenge and in making the case for a unified approach to skills. Working across the industry, ScreenSkills is creating opportunities for new entrants alongside life-long training and support. With the pressure on skills, and global competition for production talent, an aligned approach is the only solution so that the sector can continue to make a significant contribution to the UK’s economic growth and make great UK content that the audience love and trust.Seetha Kumar, ScreenSkills CEO

Members of the UK Production Skills Task Force for the Screen Sectors:

  • Prime Video
  • Animation UK
  • Apple TV+
  • BBC
  • British Film Commission
  • BFI
  • Channel4
  • COBA (the Association for Commercial Broadcasters and On-Demand Services)
  • Creative Wales
  • Disney
  • HETV Skills Council
  • ITV
  • MPA (Motion Picture Association)
  • NBCUniversal
  • Netflix
  • Northern Ireland Screen
  • PACT
  • Paramount
  • The Production Guild of Great Britain
  • ScreenSkills
  • Screen Scotland
  • Sky
  • Sony
  • UK Screen Alliance
  • Warner Bros. Discovery

Further background

The immediate focus of the Task Force will be skills in physical production across film, high-end television, scripted comedy and drama, unscripted production (including entertainment and factual entertainment genres) and children’s TV.

Interdependencies with animation, post-production, and VFX will be explicitly and prominently recognised including in relation to investment and to the Apprenticeship Levy, as part of a staged approach to addressing the needs of these sectors. A second phase of work will further address these sectors via a dedicated workstream.

Additional members will be invited to join the Task Force to inform the work as necessary. It will also identify specific areas where industry needs to work in partnership with the Government and with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The BFI Skills Review – which the BFI undertook at the request of the DCMS in the face of increasing pressure on the skills in industry – examined the needs for training and skills development across the production sector for scripted film and high-end television. The key recommendations that came from the Review are: an industry-led and localised approach to investment in training; a more formalised approach to hiring, workplace management and professional development; stronger bridges into industry from education and other sectors; more comprehensive careers information, profiles and pathways; and better data to support policy and action.

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