ITV considering opening own academy to train make-up artists, set designers and other TV production staff to capitalise on streaming boom
ITV is considering opening its own academy to train make-up artists, set designers and other TV production staff to capitalise on the streaming boom.
Britain’s biggest commercial broadcaster is examining options to open a training institute, most likely to be in the North of England, to tackle a skills shortage in the film and TV production industry.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a review has been launched into what skills are needed in ITV’s broadcast and production divisions, consulting with bosses within its ITV Studios business and its specialist production houses. These include World Productions, which made Vigil for the BBC, and Big Talk Productions, the maker of Cold Feet.
Make-up boom: Hits like Downton Abbey helped drive a need for TV staff
The industry is grappling with severe staff shortages. Covid pushed back productions slated for last year, while new scripts penned in lockdown are also filming. Britain is also fast becoming a hub for producing high-end dramas for streaming platforms such as Apple TV and Netflix.
Industry bodies forecast the boom could create 30,000 jobs over the next five years, with 10,000 extra employees requiring training. This has led to a scramble for specialist employees, such as make-up artists, set designers, production managers, editors and technicians.
It is understood that ITV bosses are keen to take action to ensure specific roles can be filled in future. It is in the early stages of examining its options. These could include an ITV-branded academy, which could be sited in the North West, where it makes Coronation Street.
The training could also be developed in conjunction with organisations such as the National Film and Television School, sources said.
Gareth Ellis-Unwin, head of film at careers body ScreenSkills, said: ‘We are in an unprecedented boom. It’s not just the volume of shows, but the bigger budgets and scale of ambition which require bigger crews. There are a number of courses and feeder schemes. We must ensure we do not fragment those efforts.’
Will Ingham, founder of production company Wing, said: ‘The streamers are competing hard, creating competition for talent, who are naturally drawn to high-production dramas and that has created a shortage, notably of production managers. Universities focus a lot on film-making and camera work. Everyone wants to be the rock star director, rather than in the roles that simply get the thing made.’
ITV declined to comment.