The Metro London Skills Cluster, led by Film London and the National Film and Television School (NFTS) with London Higher, the Association of Colleges (AoC), the Capital City College Group (CCCG) and Middlesex University, has been awarded £2.2m in funding.
The Cluster partners will work closely with industry and academia to deliver an integrated programme of activities across London and three of the Gateway counties to its West – Hertfordshire, Surrey and Buckinghamshire. The area is home to major producers and studios including Elstree, Pinewood, Ealing, Twickenham, Shepperton, Leavesden, Longcross and Bovingdon. These studios are also the UK production centres for some of the biggest film and television companies in the world including Warner Bros. Discovery, Disney, Netflix and Amazon.
The initial activity of the Skills Cluster will focus on three broad thematic areas: employability, workforce retention, and progression for new entrants and curriculum development/pilots. This builds on the work of the Mayor of London’s Creative Skills Academy, launched in January 2022, and co-delivered by London Higher.
The Clusters form part of a £9.6m total investment by the BFI in skills, one of the core pillars of its new strategy. The Clusters will deliver skills development and training in the screen sector over an initial period of three years, helping to address key skills shortages and diversify the talent pipeline entering the industry. Along with supporting the screen industry in attracting talent, a key aim of the skills strategy is to ensure that the screen workforce is representative of wider society. London Higher’s members, who collectively train nearly 3,000 students per year in screen programmes – and many thousands more in areas that map onto the technical skills currently in demand across the industry – have a critical role in delivering these dual objectives.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr Richard Boffey, Head of AccessHE, and lead on the creative industries at London Higher said:
“We are delighted to be extending our skills and employability work and deepening our partnership with Film London via our involvement in the Metro London Skills Cluster. As our recent Winning London’s Arts and Minds report points out, the capital’s creative industries, and the screen industry specifically, are a powerhouse of economic growth, but all too often, job opportunities in screen are available only to the privileged few. Our members are working hard to change that via their training and education offer and their achievements to date in widening access to the screen industry provides a platform upon which to build. We look forward to now harnessing the innovation and world-class facilities across London HE’s screen provision to help make the BFI’s skills and talent vision a reality.”