Moves to get industry back up and running safely

ScreenSkills is fast-tracking Covid-19 training to help film and high-end TV return to production, with a package of support for unscripted producers set to follow.

The immediate aim is to ensure that everyone working on a production, irrespective of their role, has access to basic health and safety understanding to operate in the current climate.

The training body aims to roll out basic training within weeks for crews to undertake before resuming work.

The training body has partnered with Skills for Health, which is also working with the NHS, and safety consultants First Option.

The free online training will draw on standard cross-industry guidance, but will be tailored to equip TV and film crews with the knowledge required to keep safe within the high-pressured and often high-contact context of sets and filming locations.

In unscripted, ScreenSkills’ TV Skills fund is working with the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5 to produce a package of support for programme-makers producing content during lockdown by sharing case studies demonstrating good practice, ingenuity and tech innovation.

ScreenSkills is also exploring further training for those with managerial responsibility for ensuring productions are operating within government guidelines, including what training might be necessary for those with specific Covid-19 responsibilities on set.

Seetha Kumar

Seetha Kumar

“We will work swiftly to support the industry in what it needs to know and do to get back to work while operating safely in the new environment,” said ScreenSkills chief executive Seetha Kumar.

“The numbers of people and equipment and the often close physical contact involved in making film and television means we must all work together to make sure any risks are managed and minimised.”

Christine Healy, chair of the ScreenSkills HETV Skills Fund and head of production, New Pictures, added: “Having a clear source of simple but necessary information for freelancers to access on the basic principles of working under new conditions will be hugely useful.

”We’ve got to make sure we are giving our workers information so that they know how to stay safe and well in this changed filming environment.”

Next week, ScreenSkills will host a discussion about practical solutions to some of the challenges of returning to production.