Nurturing industry entrants

West of England Film & High-End TV Workforce Development Programme 20242024-05-20T10:34:52+01:00

The West of England Film/High-End TV Workforce Development Programme 2024

Chloe (BBC/Amazon Studios/Mam Tor Productions)

Are you based in the West of England and interested in a career in the film and TV industry? Then you’re in the right place!

We are pleased to announce the West of England Film & High-End TV Workforce Development Programme, our industry-focussed training scheme.

The scheme is funded by the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority’s Mayoral Priority Skills Fund which provides flexible grants to meet current priority skills gaps in the region.

This project is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The Programme will run three times throughout 2024, and is designed to equip you with the skills you need to become ‘set-ready’ for a career in scripted film and TV production.

What is it?

The Programme will have three intakes throughout 2024 – Round One in the Spring, Round Two in the Summer and Round Three in the Autumn.

30 successful applicants in each round will be invited to attend an Industry Induction Day at The Bottle Yard Studios, where they will receive a tour of the Studios and learn more about the different departments found on a scripted film or high-end TV production and the range of career specialisms that are available.

They will then have the opportunity to apply for a further five week training course which will cover in greater detail the range of skills needed to become ‘set-ready’.

15 participants will be selected for the course, which will next take place in in November 2024 (exact dates tbc). It will include sessions on confidence-building, set etiquette and work-readiness, communication skills and teamwork, wellbeing and resilience, as well as digital and financial literacy and how to find work as a freelancer.

The course will consist of one day per week for the 5 week period with a mixture of online and in person at the Bottle Yard Studios.

Those who complete this full training will be added to a New Entrants Portfolio that will be shared with film and high-end TV productions filming in the region.

Who is it for?

The Outlaws (image: Alistair Heap/BBC)
The Girl Before (image: BBC/42/Amanda Searle)

To apply, you must be:

  • aged 18+ by 11.59pm on December 31st 2024

  • a resident of the West of England (Bristol, BANES or South Gloucestershire)

  • eligible to work in the UK

  • available to attend the Industry Induction Day at The Bottle Yard Studios on Thursday 30th May 2024

You must also be from a background currently underrepresented in the film and TV industry.

Underrepresented groups include:

  • young people aged 17-25

  • those not in education, employment or training

  • under-employed people

  • those on zero-hour contracts

  • women

  • people from the global majority

  • disabled people

  • people living with mental health issues

  • carers

  • care leavers

Applications

Applications for Round Two of the Programme are now closed but we will be opening them again for Round Three in October 2023.

The application form will ask you for your personal details as well up to 500 words on why you are interested in taking part in the scheme. An Access Fund is also be available to any participants who may face a financial barrier to taking part in our programme. Details of how to apply for this will be on the application form.

If you have any other additional needs which we can accommodate during the recruitment process and beyond, or would like support completing the application form and/or would like us to send it to you in an alternative format, please email bottleyardskills@bristol.gov.uk.

Why are we running it?

The West of England is one of the most film-friendly regions in the UK. The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol has been consistently popular with drama producers in recent years and has recently expanded, whilst the region’s Film Offices have been busy supporting more film and TV shoots on location.

The reputation of the skilled local crew who currently work in the region plays a major part in attracting productions to film here. But in order to service the growing numbers of productions opting to film in the West, and make sure that these employment opportunities benefit those living in the region, we need to grow the local crew base.

In 2021/22, there was a UK-wide production boom following the COVID-19 lockdowns, and scripted film and TV production became busier than ever in the West of England. Nationwide, the film and TV industry became one of the fastest-growing parts of the UK economy, with industry leaders estimating that 21,000 new crew would be needed across the UK by 2025.

2023 was a more mixed picture, with US writer and actor strikes between May – November 2023 impacting the UK industry, making it an uncertain and challenging year for many freelancers across the country who found themselves out of work due to a production slowdown. However, in 2024, there are increasing numbers of greenlit scripted productions booking in to film at The Bottle Yard Studios and on location in Bristol, indicating that production is swinging back to the busier levels seen before the 2023 strikes.

We believe that scripted production career opportunities should be open to everyone in the West of England region, particularly those who are not currently represented in the film and TV workforce or who may not have previously known how to go about starting out in the industry. We also recognise the challenges of working as a freelancer in this industry, which is why our training includes a section on the ‘soft skills’ needed to succeed, helping prepare participants for the reality of working life and build resilience from the outset. Film and TV production is a fast paced industry and although it can be demanding at times, it can offer a rewarding creative industries career in the West of England, with good opportunity for progression.

Read more about why we have devised this programme here.

Partners & funders

This Programme is delivered by Bristol City Council’s Film Services (comprising The Bottle Yard Studios, Bristol UNESCO City of Film and Bristol Film Office) . It is funded by the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority’s Mayoral Priority Skills Fund which provides flexible grants to meet current priority skills gaps in the region. This project is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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