What’s stopping young people from pursuing careers in the screen industries?

The British Film Institute’s report on employment opportunities in the Screen Industries, ‘What’s stopping young people from pursuing careers in the screen industries?’ makes for interesting reading. Released in December 2021, it documents the growth of the UK Screen Industries (Film, TV, VFX, Animation & Gaming). It shows thriving, in-demand sectors with large numbers of jobs being generated every year.

“The demand for output from the Screen Industries is at an all-time high[1] and the UK is a leading global exporter of production content[2]. Brands from across the world are cashing in on the growing demand for UK Screen Industries content; Netflix, Disney, Amazon and Apple have committed to investing more in UK productions[3]. There are more than 20 new production sites in the pipeline nationwide bringing the UK’s studio space (used for Film, TV and VFX) to an estimated 6.8 million sqft[4] (in comparison, LA boasts a mere 5.3 million sqft).”

But this story of growth is in danger:
“However, it’s been reported that nearly half of Screen Industries employers (46%) rated recruitment difficulties as a moderate problem, with just over a third (36%) seeing it as a serious or very serious issue[5]. Currently the shortage of talent is not able to cater for the existing roles available, which raises concerns that as the industry grows, the problem will get worse.”

These extracts highlight a perfect storm around careers teaching that mean that the UK Screen Industries are facing a crisis that could derail the success of this rapidly growing sector. The growth in production is creating skills gaps and a need for more young people to choose the Screen Industries as a career.

Our own research over a number of years now shows an improving picture in terms of highlighting creative careers as a possibility for young people, but that is starting from a very low base. If young people can’t see a career how can they have an ambition to be part of the sector? Most careers services admit they don’t know enough about the creative sector and are often wary of promoting the small business or freelance model seeing it either as wildly exciting and entrepreneurial or a short-term and insecure. Many creatives entering the sector will work as freelancers but without being equipped with the skills they need for this way of working.

We are offering young people the opportunity to explore a freelance/creative career in a safe and inspiring atmosphere, working with industry professionals, using AR/animation and journalism and story-telling as both a context and a model.

To find out about our latest The Artery Peer Support programme, visit our Take Part pages and express an interest.

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