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The HETV Skills Fund’s Regions Working Group helps to identify skills gaps and ensure the regions have the skills and talent they need

For 10 years, the High-end TV Skills Fund has used collective investment from the industry to support the TV workforce by creating and funding joined-up training that develops freelance talent across the UK.

The work of the Fund, the opportunities it helps create and the training it provides are only made possible through the continued investment in skills from productions being made within and outside of the UK. 

Contributing productions reflect the breadth of the industry across the country, including Peaky Blinders, Happy Valley, Chloe, Poldark, Call The Midwife, The Crown, Andor, Ted Lasso, Vera, Three Little Birds, Brassic, The Responder, Sanditon and My Name Is Leon.

Decisions on the Fund’s skills investments are made via the HETV Council and the 10 industry Working Groups.

Drawing on their professional knowledge and experience, and supported with annual UK-wide research, they ensure the Fund’s priorities meet industry needs. It’s a perfect illustration of how the Fund works with industry to deliver outcome-focused interventions that ensure talent across the UK are supported throughout their careers.

“The Regions Working Group is the best way that the industry’s efforts can be co-ordinated to improve skills, which is to everyone’s benefit”
Niall Shamma

Niall Shamma, chief operating officer of Warp Films, who leads the Regions Working Group – which was set up to enable further investment in industry – identifies bespoke regional needs that complement the UK-wide offer.

He says: “Warp Films has always looked to produce in the regions and recognised that the skills shortage is one of the key limiting factors to growing the regional ecosystem.

Niall Shamma

Niall Shamma

Being involved in the Regions Working Group is one of the most effective ways that I can improve the situation. It is the best way that the industry’s efforts can be co-ordinated to improve skills, which is to everyone’s benefit.”

The group has invested in a host of regional programmes, including accounts and production co-ordinator training with a focus on securing regional placements, and schemes in the location and costume departments.

The group has also set up taster days in virtual production skills, as well as improving access for regional under-represented groups via placements for those with no prior experience. A further TV writers’ programme, in collaboration with regional-based indies, aims to find new local talent and regional stories.

This commitment from the HETV Skills Fund to the regions’ workforce is further enhanced by established HETV schemes such as Make A Move, which provides individuals across the UK with the opportunity to step up in their careers; Trainee Finder, a UK-wide flagship trainee programme; and First Break, an inclusive new-entrant initiative that provides local opportunities for people to learn about careers in TV, which so far has taken place in partnership with productions filming in Cornwall, Manchester, Leeds and Farnborough.

The Fund also provides support and outreach to help those in education access information about careers in screen. A 2023 series of in-person roadshows in Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham and Newcastle provided career workshops and networking sessions with industry professionals and one-to-one online mentoring sessions.

The Fund’s overarching principle, to utilise collective industry expertise to determine UK-wide skills investment for freelancers, ensures support for the workforce at every career stage. With plans already in place for next year, the Fund looks set to continue to care for and grow a skilled and set-ready UK-wide workforce that is globally respected.


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