On Tuesday 9th May from 4pm until 7pm, Space Studios hosted an open evening for anyone interested in working behind the scenes in television. Aimed at new entrants and qualified tradespeople who wish to re-train, places at the open evening were available to over 16’s who live in Greater Manchester. The aim of the event was to inspire local people to consider a career in this growing sector and to showcase the range of job opportunities available to them.

Which areas of TV Craft & Technical were represented?

Designed to help fill the skills gap* in the industry’s supply chain, the open evening was supported by Vinci Construction and ITV & was hosted by SharpFutures. The exhibitors were professionals from a variety of different craft and technical trades which contribute to the TV and Film industry including; representatives from Vinci Construction, Anthea Nelson (set design), ITV (electricians, scenic painters and make up), ELP (lighting and rigging), Provision (camera, lighting and sound), Direct Photographic (camera and lighting), Craig Phillips (building, painting and decorating), Rebecca Tupman (media and special effects make up) and Amanda’s Catering (production catering). There were also talks on the different careers available in the sector and routes in from SharpFutures Discover and TV personality and DIY expert Craig Phillips.

“The event was very interesting with lots of ideas from some great people passing on their info. I came in looking at one part of the industry and have found interest in another.” – Karen Hill, 53, Cheshire, employed full-time
“I didn’t realise the amount of possibilities there are. Great to see it in the North West!” – Daniel Pickles, 29, Manchester, employed full-time

*Skills shortage in TV Craft and Technical careers

According to the Creative Skillset Creative Media Workforce Survey 2014, the most common area of skills need across the creative media industries was in craft or technical (44%). With the Space Studios expansion bringing more TV and Film to Manchester, the workshops aimed to open the doors to the sector and create pathways for local people to gain employment. Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the British Film Commission and head of Film London, believes the race is on in Britain to train new below-the-line staff, as well as to help existing artisans and technicians move up the ladder. “We do have a skills shortage. We have managed to crew everything, but we are getting a huge amount of demand… we need to do more than cope” (Variety Magazine 16th Dec 2016).

Who were the guests?

In total, 120 people attended the event. Of those 120, 92% were from Greater Manchester, with 49% being Manchester residents. 38% of the Manchester based residents were from the Gorton ward, (location of Space Studios). Guests in attendance were diverse, spanning from the ages of 16-60, with a mixture of students, new entrants into the sector and those who had worked in trade for years.

Feedback

100% of the guests said they gained more of an insight into behind the careers.

The general feedback was that attendees learned about the many different opportunities available in TV: “The event was really good, signed up for lots of opportunities that I haven’t had much knowledge of before.” Sandra Roman, 18, Manchester, Student

Next steps

In total, there were 152 signups from guests who wanted more information about a variety of different craft and technical careers and to attend any future workshops after the event. SharpFutures are currently in the process of organising workshops to be delivered by those who exhibited on the evening. If you attended the event, updates will be sent via the contact details you provided.

If you did not attend the evening but are still interested in finding out more about careers in TV and film, we are organising a free tour of Space Studios to Manchester residents. Email discover@sharpfutures.org.uk or call 0161 282 8380 for more info.

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