Whilst there’s plenty of training available at full price, finding subsidised courses and programmes for employees in Post-production and VFX is hard going these days.
Not since 2004 in the early days of UK Post (as we were then called) has there been significant public subsidy avaialable for training in broadcast post. Back then some of our members, with support from UK Post created the “First Post” training scheme to move runners up into their first operational roles. This programme was funded by the European Social Fund and gave training to over 120 new entrants.
Whilst VFX received some DCMS funding a few years ago, designed to underpin the skills demand created by the tax credits, broadcast post-production has not been well served in this respect for years and UK Screen Alliance has been lobbying to redress this.
UK Screen Alliance now liaises with the main skills body for our industry, ScreenSkills, formerly Creative Skillset, to direct funding into initiatives relevant to post-production and VFX.
The High-End Televison Skills Fund, which is administered by ScreenSkills, is funded by a voluntary levy paid by TV drama productions. We succesfully lobbied for them to assign some of this fund each year for post and VFX training and now UK Screen Alliance is at heart of deciding the priorities for this investment. UK Screen’s CEO, sits on the HETV Council and chairs the sub-group which allocates the Post and VFX funding.
Since 2017, we have focussed the HETV post & VFX funds towards the following programmes:
- HDR training delivered by Martin Parsons of Image Eyes
- Broadcast Quality Control training delivered by Martin Parsons of Image Eyes
- IMF Delivery – a primer on new versioning and delivery technology delivered by the DPP
- Leadership and Management training delivered by DV Talent
- Short courses on Blackmagic Resolve colour grading software
- Short couses on Avid Editing and Storage Management
- Return to Work Scheme delivered by Film London aimed at getting experienced people back into jobs after extended parental leave
- Client relationships and negotiation for Post & VFX training delivered by Angela Law of Everysense
- Secretariat support for the creation of the Post Production Technical Operator apprenticeship standard
- A tendering process to engage a prefered training supplier to deliver the Post Production Technical Operator apprenticeship
Where applicable, these training initiatives are made available for freelancers and company employees. Employers are expected to match fund the HETV contribution, but freelancers receive full funding. Applicants for the funds must be working in HETV or have strong and realistic aspirations of doing so.
These courses are popular so check for avaialbilty on our website and the ScreenSkills site. We notify our members of training opportunities via our regular email newsletters.
Footnote: As part of the Creative Sector Deal, DCMS has in 2019 provided funds for the development of more apprenticeship standards. UK Screen Alliance working with ScreenSkills has directed this funding to create 3 new VFX apprenticeship standards, a post production engineering standard, an audio engineer standard (in conjunction with UK Music) and a camera technician apprenticeship standard. These will be developed for delivery by late 2020.