London – April 29, 2022 – The BBC, Channel 4, Paramount and UKTV have announced plans to join forces to address the current production management skills gap facing the UK TV industry.
Executive producers, production managers and production co-ordinators are vital to the success of the UK creative industries, but are consistently cited as one of the most difficult roles for independent production companies to recruit. In addition to this acute skills gap, there is a growing demand given the growth in UK productions and increased production management requirements such as managing COVID protocols and albert certification.
Broadcasters participating in the program are each creating a specific production management skills fund that will be used to increase the volume of production management skills and capabilities in the sector. The intention is to alleviate short-term pressure in production management and help build a longer-term talent pool. Collectively, the broadcasters are committing £1million over the next 12 months.
Production companies will be able to tap into the PM Skills Fund to support additional roles, including:
1. A senior role for a more junior production manager or coordinator to work alongside and learn from a more senior role.
2. Transfer to a mid-level position for someone with transferable skills from another sector (eg event or theater management).
Participating broadcasters will use their PM Skills Funds to contribute at least 50% of the salaries of these additional roles for the duration of a production. Where possible, they will prioritize diverse talent, independent small and medium-sized businesses, and those based in nations and regions.
These funded roles would add additional overall production management capability and help producers meet the financial challenge of meeting current compliance requirements. In addition, it helps expand the future pool of line producers and production management talent across the industry.
The broadcaster’s investment would complement existing production management training in the sector and create a pipeline of opportunities for new recruits. Each broadcaster will tailor its approach according to its own processes, budgets and strategic priorities and distribute its money separately. This funding will be available from April 2022.
In addition to the PM Skills Fund, these broadcasters have agreed to collaborate on outreach and engagement, working with other relevant industry organizations to market production management as a career.
Any producer who has a commission from one of the participating broadcasters – should contact them directly if they have a candidate who fits these criteria and would be additional to their production team. Each broadcaster will make its decisions based on merit and strategic priority.
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 for productions that we know are managing increased demands – as well as helping to develop the next generation of production management talent.
Clare Brown, Controller Production Finance, Channel 4 said:
As a former production manager myself, I know that PMs and PCs are at the heart of a production and integral to its success. Funded by 4Skills, this fund will help develop and maintain this pool of production management talent that is so essential to the continued growth of production in the UK.
Nan Whittingham, Vice President, Production UK, Paramount, said:
Production managers are essential to our industry; content cannot be created without finding and retaining top talent in production management. This dedicated initiative is a top priority for us, and we are delighted to be working on it with our broadcast partners. It will support Paramount funding for learning, development and skills gaps, as announced by Ben Frow last year.
Richard Watsham, Commissioning Director, UKTV:
Production management is a vital and long undervalued part of our industry and the skills gap in this area affects us all. This is something we should take seriously, acting quickly to address it. The essential funding announced today will help, but we must continue to monitor progress and take further action as necessary to ensure the incredible creativity of British production is protected.
About UK TV
UKTV has been at the forefront of branded television for over 25 years, entertaining the nation with programs they love. Its main brands – Dave, Gold, W, Drama, Alibi, Eden and Yesterday – cover comedy, entertainment, natural history, fact and drama, and are delivered to the public via UKTV Play, Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat and Amazon Fire. The broadcaster is a major investor in British creativity and is committed to working with new and established writers, directors and program makers.
UKTV is part of BBC Studios, the UK’s most awarded production company, a world-class distributor offering internationally branded services and a commercial subsidiary of the world’s leading public service broadcaster, the BBC.
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