ScreenSkills research also finds 80% of employers suffering recruitment issues

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The boost in remote working should improve the nations and regions push, according to more than half of respondents to a ScreenSkills survey, which found 16% of workers have left the industry since Covid.

Around 54% of the 1,181 respondents to ScreenSkills Assessment 2021 said that the ways of working instituted by the pandemic will mean employers hire from a “wider geographical pool”, as senior industry figures talk up the potential for democratisation and the end of the ‘closed shop’ culture.

Almost 70% of employers who responded and 72% of workers believe remote working will be the most significant trend to endure beyond Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, followed by increased use of remote communication (59%).

Elsewhere, almost half of employers expect a greater emphasis on work-life balance, which followed a pre-pandemic report that found only 22% of the workforce were finding such a balance.

But the findings also pointed to the difficulties employers are having regarding hiring, with eight-in-10 flagging recruiting issues – 46% rating this as a ‘moderate problem’ and a further 36% citing it as a ‘serious or very serious issue’.

The survey found that 16% have left the screen industries altogether.

The production hiatus followed by the restart may have skewed perceptions of skills shortages and gaps, reported some respondents, although some clearly remain.

Production management roles remain in demand across scripted and unscripted production, while recruiting editors, researchers and series producers were flagged as a problem for unscripted TV in particular.

Meanwhile, nearly half of employers and just over half of the workforce surveyed thought that by 2026 the sector will be deploying more environmentally sustainable practices.

Seetha Kumar

Seetha Kumar

ScreenSkills chief executive Seetha Kumar said the research “sheds valuable insight into the lessons learned from this most difficult of years”.

“It suggests new technologies and imaginative work practices adopted at this time might contribute to a better working environment for the future as well as keeping the screen industries vibrant,” she added.

“We will continue to use the evidence of our research with industry to inform and shape investment in skills and training to futureproof the sector.”