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Home > News > July 2006 > 17 July 2006

Minister launches TV skills strategy

Shaun Woodward MP, the minister for creative industries and tourism, has launched a new strategy focused on developing the talent and creativity of the TV industry and its workforce.

The TV Skills Strategy has been developed by the industry through Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries

The Minister welcomed the unified approach the industry has agreed and the priority it has given to maintaining and improving the skills of its workforce to keep it at the forefront of a competitive global business.

Skillset's recently published Workforce Survey shows that while the sector's workforce is highly qualified - 69% are graduates compared to 16% of the UK workforce as a whole - there are significant skills gaps and shortages.

Skillset says that although the industry is oversubscribed in terms of new entrants, industry feedback consistently highlights a lack of skills and industry awareness amongst entry level staff.

Shaun Woodward was speaking at the recent industry launch event at BAFTA in London. He said: "Any industry's greatest resource is its people. The new TV Skills Strategy will ensure that the broadcasting industry develops the talent and creativity of its workforce to maintain the UK's position on the global stage.

"There has already been good progress, notably the agreement between Ofcom, Skillset and the industry to deliver a new co-regulatory framework through the establishment of the Broadcast Training and Skills Regulator (BTSR). And I'm pleased to welcome the agreement reached by the BBC and Skillset to develop a memorandum of understanding to clearly identify the further strategic development of the BBC's training and skills policy for the wider industry, as called for by the Government in the recent BBC White Paper.

"I am particularly pleased to announce that applications to become a Skillset Academy open today. This network of centres of excellence will provide the right mix of creative and commercial skills which are vital in influencing and developing tomorrow's TV talent. This Skillset Academy Network will cement lasting relationships between industry and further and higher education institutions for mutual benefit."

Skillset says the TV Skills Strategy covers all skills, education and business development needs of the industry and identifies priority areas for action for both the existing workforce and new entrants ranging from developing a new creative and media diploma for 14-19 year olds and establishing Skillset Academies to an induction programme for junior staff and an industry agreed formula for investing in freelancers.

John McVay, chief executive of Pact, and chair of the TV Skills Strategy Committee said: "Success for all businesses across the industry - small, medium and large - producers and broadcasters is directly related to how we nurture and develop the skills and talent in our workforce.

"Creativity and quality are our greatest assets in a global market. This strategy ensures that we will continue to invest across our industry from new entrants to new skills for experienced professionals. The strategy has engaged all parts of the industry and it is their commitment and determination to ensure that it delivers that will make the difference."

Clive Jones, chair of Skillset and chief executive, ITV News and Regions. said: "Our ability to thrive commercially runs parallel with the skills and abilities of individuals in the workforce. Investing in them and their ongoing professional development is one of the most positive impacts we can have on our industry's performance and growth."

Dinah Caine, chief executive of Skillset, said: "The TV Skills Strategy helps underpin the success of the industry on a range of fronts. With industry wide backing and increased investment we can support more businesses and individuals in accessing skills development tailored to their specific needs.

"The strategy also plays a significant role in improving diversity of the workforce. The ultimate benefit being industry gets the best talent available from a wider cross section of the UK which more accurately reflects the make up of today's diverse audiences."

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