Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the HETV Skills Fund is committed to providing the training freelancers need to progress in their careers

The High-end TV Skills Fund celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Since its launch, with the remit to grow and develop the UK freelance workforce, it has invested in training programmes that ensure professionals at every career level are supported with the knowledge and tools they need to progress.

The key priority of the Fund is to create continued training and development opportunities for those at a mid-level stage of their HETV career journeys, to help them move forward as well as expand their skills.

Kaye Elliott, ScreenSkills director of HETV, says: “For the industry to continue to grow and flourish, investment in the workforce is paramount. It remains a priority for the Fund to invest in skills initiatives and deliver placement opportunities for freelancers working at all levels to help advance their careers and support the industry in meeting workforce shortages.”

Early on in its history, the Fund created the Make a Move programme to help those looking to progress in their careers, underpinned by tailored support. The programme, launched in 2015, provides funding to enable on-the-job training for crew identified by a production as ready to step up to a more senior role.

Led by the guidance of the Fund’s industry-led Working Groups, Make a Move prioritises supporting professionals working in areas of skills and grade shortage, targeting the most needed roles and helping to grow the skilled workforce from within.

The programme’s blend of expert guidance, bespoke training and mentoring was key for David Meanti in helping him become a producer: “We all know that without the right tools, the right mentors, and a bit of help, the road can be very bumpy, so I am very grateful that when I took a new path and stepped up from being a 1st AD to being a producer, I have been able to receive the help provided by the HETV Skills Fund and particularly to benefit from the HETV Make a Move scheme.”

Further vital training identified by the Fund’s Working Groups resulted in the introduction of a host of grade-specific training programmes commissioned by the groups to directly respond to grade shortages identified by the industry.

These include roles across production, craft and tech, and post and VFX departments, in addition to further complementary bespoke support available in the nation and regions that provides the necessary training and placement support required for roles among the full roster of below-the-line departments.

“It’s a brilliant initiative that helps people in the industry get a step up. Long may it continue”
Mal Woodford

The industry also identified impactful programmes to support freelancers to create a better work-life balance through job-share programmes, as well as supporting individuals wishing to return to the sector following a career break. Each initiative is centred on retaining the best talent.

In 2024, a third cohort will be welcomed on to the Leaders of Tomorrow programme. This inclusive leadership scheme helps candidates move into leadership roles through a comprehensive three-year course of mentoring, training, networking and supported placements on HETV productions.

All of the skills programmes and opportunities created by the Fund have been shaped both by and for the industry. This ensures the pipeline of talent is maintained and productions retain and develop the workforce. As Make a Move alumni Mal Woodford says: “It’s a brilliant initiative that helps people in the industry get a step up. Long may it continue.”


For more information on how the High-end TV Skills Fund can help your career, go to: screenskills.com