BFI Film Skills Fund & BFI Business Development Fund
The skills and talent base across the UK plays a significant role in ensuring that the UK film sector is world-class.
Most film businesses are undercapitalised and struggle to dedicate time and money to invest in training and developing those they employ. If the UK does not keep pace, it will become excessively expensive to recover our international standing and our competitive position. In turn, our ability to stimulate a flourishing film culture and economic growth will come under increasing threat.
The BFI believes that investing in skills is vital but with increasing demands from a successfully growing sector, we are concerned to ensure that this skills base is effectively supported. We will work with Creative Skillset (the Sector Skills Council for the Creative Industries) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to develop and execute an advocacy plan to help ensure that investment is adequate.
Using research looking into the needs across the film sector in 2011, we will work with our strategic partner Creative Skillset and its Film Skills Council to develop a new skills strategy. This will be developed with further input from all parts of the film sector and will focus on the following priorities:
Developing new and quality talent
We will focus investment on establishing clear and coordinated career paths for new talent based on work experience, internships, apprenticeships and new entrant schemes as well as supporting skills development for those already working as film professionals. In line with the Film Policy Review recommendation, we will work with Creative Skillset, Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Scottish Funding Council to undertake a review of the three Skillset Film Academies to ensure appropriate public financial support is in place – similar to that enjoyed by leading music, drama and dance academies. In addition, because urgent development is needed, we will also create a one-off capital fund of £5m to support film schools across the UK.
Skills for the future
Digital technology has transformed the ways in which audiences access films as well as the production process. We have to build on our strengths in creative, technological and entrepreneurial skills if we are to remain competitive. We need to make sure that the UK anticipates technological developments and identifies the skills needs which are likely to emerge as a consequence.
Entrepreneurship and business skills
Successful film businesses are run by people who understand how to reach and build an audience for their work and in a world of rapidly evolving patterns of consumption this is a growing challenge. We need to encourage original entrepreneurs and help to fuse creative, technology and entrepreneurial skills.
Working with Creative England, Business Development funds will provide seed funding to enable businesses to develop their ambitions for growth.
Applications will open in 2013.