UK broadcaster ITV and Amazon’s Prime Video have both signed up to the ScreenSkills Unscripted TV Skills Fund, which was created to support skills and training development for the unscripted workforce.
The agreement means that the two firms will pay a percentage of all unscripted commission budgets to the fund, which was launched by UK TV skills body ScreenSkills last June to address skills shortages and inclusion including boosting training in the UK’s nations and regions.
As backers of the fund, ITV and Prime Video join the BBC and Channel 4, who were founding investors, alongside the other founding partners, Sky, A+E Networks UK and Discovery UK. Channel 5 and Netflix also joined last year. Broadcaster and streamer contributions are matched by the production company.
Backed by Pact, the fund is designed to benefit producers with a stronger supply of trained professionals in key shortage roles across the UK with roles including development researcher, edit assistant, production coordinator, producer, shooting AP and shooting PD addressed with training in the first year. Freelancers working in all genres of unscripted TV also benefit from a rolling slate of short courses as well as job- and grade-specific training.
A minimum of 50% of the fund is invested to support training beneficiaries based in the nations and regions, rising to 100% in specific shortage areas.
Jane Muirhead, chair of the Unscripted TV Skills Council and co-founder and MD of UK prodco Raise the Roof, commented: “All of us at the coal face of this recruitment crisis have been crying out for this collective approach to improve inclusion, boost availability of skilled crew and talent across the UK, and future-proof the unscripted TV industry. It’s brilliant news that ITV and Amazon’s Prime Video have joined us and demonstrates that we all share common goals.”