UK needs 10,000 new people to keep position in world film production says Work Foundation report

UK needs 10,000 new people to keep position in world film production says Work F

Barbara Broccoli (pictured), Kathleen Kennedy, BFI Chair Josh Berger and film industry leaders unite behind the plan to ensure the future of UK film, currently worth 4.3 billion to the economy

Research from Lancaster University’s Work Foundation for the British Film Institute (BFI) says the UK film industry needs more diversity to prevent a skills shortage.

The report was launched at the House of Commons by the Culture Secretary Karen Bradley, producer Barbara Broccoli, BFI Chair Josh Berger and BFI CEO Amanda Nevill to some of the biggest names in film and education, to underline the BFI’s 10-point skills plan to address future film skills.

The report can be accessed online at:

The report says that

  • the UK needs 10,000 people over the next five years to maintain its position in world film production.
  • Women earn 3,000 less than men on average.
  • 40% of the UK’s film workforce is made up of female employees.
  • The research also cites a culture of nepotism, unpaid work experience and a lack of appropriate training as being reasons why people are prevented from entering the industry.

Author of the report Heather Carey from the Work Foundation said: “Learners genuinely lack an awareness that there are opportunities for them in the screen industries. We found, having looked at demand and supply, that the progression into work is not an easy one.

“There is a culture of nepotism, the majority of employers recruit through word of mouth, and that creates real barriers for people who don’t know people. Then there is real challenge of unpaid work experience, no wonder that acts as an obstacle, particularly for those without financial means. Those obstacles are more pronounced for minority groups, but they face additional barriers. Through our process of consultation we found examples of discrimination in the workplace.

“When we try to get below the surface there are huge obstacles and those obstacles are creating a pandemic lack of inclusion in this industry.”

By investing over 20 million of National Lottery funding from 2017-2022 into film skills, the BFI is kick-starting this new skills drive to encourage thousands to become a part of the success story that is UK film. It is anticipated this investment will leverage match funding from the industry’s own Skills Investment Fund and fund the backbone of the industry-owned and industry-led Future Film Skills 10 Point Action Plan.

Future Film Skills has been developed as a result of a wide industry consultation led by the BFI with the Film Skills Industry Task Force, chaired by Barbara Broccoli and including BFI CEO Amanda Nevill, Creative Skillset CEO Seetha Kumar, Chair of the Film Skills Council Iain Smith, Double Negative MD Alex Hope, Ben Roberts, Director BFI Film Fund and producers Marc Samuelson, Fiona McGuire, Callum McDougall, Faiza Hosenie and Damian Jones. The Work Foundation was commissioned to look at the current and future needs of film in recognition of the potential and current economic growth of the film industry, which continues to outperform other sectors considered to be booming, including construction, financial services, and information and communications.

The Work Foundation

The Work Foundation transforms people’s experience of work and the labour market through high quality applied research that influences public policies and organisational practices while empowering individuals. The Work Foundation addresses the fundamental question of what Good Work for all means: this is a complex and evolving concept. Good Work by necessity encapsulates the importance of productivity and skills needs, the consequences of technological innovation, and of good working practices. Central to the concept of Good Work is how these and other factors impact on the well-being of the individual whether in employment or seeking to enter the workforce. The Work Foundation is a department within Lancaster University Management School. See:

There is a culture of nepotism, the majority of employers recruit through word of mouth, and that creates real barriers for people who don’t know people

Heather Carey, the Work Foundation

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