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Home > News > July 2005 > 14-Jul-2005

New academies announced for UK film industries

A new network of screen academies to educate and train new filmmaking talent has been announced by Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries.

Seven academies in England, Scotland, and Wales will share more than £5m funding and will work together to provide new courses (including a film MBA), summer schools, work placements, master classes, bursaries, online learning resources and a talent scout programme.

The Screen Academy Network, which includes a Film Business Academy, is a key part of 'A Bigger Future, the UK Film Skills Strategy', which Skillset is implementing to help tackle the creative development and skills needs of all jobs across film from script development through to the screening films in cinemas. The strategy covers both new entrants and professional development for the existing workforce.

Speaking at the launch last week, Stewart Till, Deputy Chair of Skillset, Chair of the UK Film Council, and CEO and Chairman of United International Pictures, said: "The Screen Academy Network and Film Business Academy will provide superior skills and talent development, unrivalled anywhere in the world.

"It brings the industry and the education system much closer together ensuring UK film gets the skilled talent it needs for a strong and healthy business. It will help us build an aggressively competitive industry in an increasingly tough global market."

The network is made up of:

  • The Screen Academy at the Arts Institute Bournemouth & Bournemouth Media School
  • The Screen Academy at London College of Communication / UAL and Ealing Institute of Media / EHWLC
  • The Screen Academy at Napier University & Edinburgh College of Art
  • The Screen Academy at The Film Academy (University of Glamorgan) & International Film School Wales (University of Wales, Newport)
  • The Screen Academy at the London Film School
  • The Screen Academy at the National Film & Television School
  • The Film Business Academy at Cass Business School

The network of centres was revealed at an industry launch in London attended by the Minister for Film, James Purnell MP, and Phil Hope MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Skills.

James Purnell MP said: "The Screen Academy Network is an outstanding achievement for Skillset and great news for the film industry. It puts the UK right at the forefront in terms of film skills development and goes a long way towards ensuring the long term success and sustainability of our film industry.

"Despite its detractors, the UK film industry is now the third biggest film industry in the world. To build on this success it is vital that we equip people with the right creative, technical, and commercial know-how to forge successful careers in the screen industries - and this is exactly what the network will do, giving new talent the world class skills needed for UK film to compete on the global stage."

Phil Hope MP said: "The film industry is to be applauded for this groundbreaking initiative. Congratulations to Skillset on a truly visionary achievement. They are way ahead of the game and their commitment to skills investment is an example to other sectors showing how effectively business can work with further and higher education. The Network mirrors the very essence of Government policy by putting industry at the helm of the skills agenda, ensuring it is demand led."

The courses on offer via the network range from City & Guilds and Higher Education Diplomas through to undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, as well as short courses and development support for existing professionals in the industry. The Film Business Academy will create full and part time specialist Masters courses in film business and a customised executive film MBA.

Jane Davidson, Wales' Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: "I am delighted that a collaborative bid from six HE institutions in Wales and Cyfle has been successful in securing one of the first UK Film/Skillset Screen Academies.

"This success means that Wales is now part of the film education and training network that will help transform the UK film industry, producing skilled graduates, ready for work, adding high value and growth in Wales, in Europe and beyond. Skillset will provide core funding for the new Screen Academy in Wales and HEFCW has also approved proposals for substantial funding to support the Academy."

Patricia Ferguson, Scotland's Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, said: "I'm delighted that Napier University and Edinburgh College of Art have won funding to establish the first Scottish Screen Academy. This is a magnificent achievement and will make an important contribution to the film industry's reputation home and abroad.

"The Scottish Executive is providing £300k in the first two years for the Scottish Screen Academy. We have a made a public commitment to develop the screen industries in Scotland and the establishment of an Academy will support that aim."

According to Skillset, the Screen Academies will share £4.3m of funding over two years from the Skillset Film Skills Fund, made up of industry investment via the Skills Investment Fund, a film production levy collected by Skillset, and £6.5m per year of National Lottery money channelled via the UK Film Council. The Film Business Academy will receive £1m funding over two years.

The funding will be spent on bursaries, outreach work to aid diversity in the industry, and course development in priority areas. Skillset says that as a direct result of their status as part of the network, institutions will also be able to leverage additional funding support from the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) which has just concluded its first formal agreement with a Sector Skills Council as part of Skillset's Sector Skills Agreement.

The SHEFC (Scottish Higher Education Funding Council), alongside the Scottish Executive, is continuing discussions with Skillset to explore future funding streams and in Wales, the HEFCW (Higher Education Funding Council Wales) has confirmed substantial funding and is currently considering further arrangements.

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