The trade association continues its plans to launch its post-production apprenticeship despite Covid-19


UK Screen Alliance has launched its accredited post-production training for technical operators in post houses, broadcasters and in-house facilities, regardless of the global pandemic.

Nine apprentices from seven companies – Evolutions, Deluxe 142, Visual Data Media Services, Clear Cut Pictures, Timeline TV, Fifty Fifty Post and Platform Post – kicked off their training to become post-production technical operators on 9 April.

The training is being provided by London South Bank University (LSBU) and has been two and half years in development.

The apprenticeship lasts for 12 months and includes some off-the job training and on-the-job work experience.

Apprentices will be assessed at the end for a qualification at an equivalent level to an HNC.

The creation of the apprenticeship was led by Rowan Bray, managing director of Clear Cut and Neil Hatton, CEO of UK Screen Alliance, assisted by a number of post-production employers.

The funding for the development process came via the ScreenSkills High-End TV Skills fund from contributions by high-end TV productions.

The apprenticeship is fully accredited by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

To enable the scheme to function during the pandemic, industry trainer Pat Horridge and LSBU course leader Ben Mallaby had to convert the course materials and lectures to be delivered online to comply with the required Covid-19 social distancing measures.

Bray said: “It’s hugely satisfying to see the apprentices start their training after all the work developing the course. The need to support the up-skilling of our staff has long been recognised, given the complexity of modern post-production, in meeting the ambitions of film and programme makers. We were determined not to let the pandemic get in the way.

“I see no reason why the apprentices will not get their on-the-job experience as their companies continue to work, albeit the work is diminishing as rushes are not being created and productions are having to furlough staff.”

Hatton added: “The post-production apprenticeship is the one bright spot at the moment but across the whole economy there’s £85 million of apprenticeship levy expiring every month and that figure will only increase with the current hold on recruitment and apprenticeship starts. We need to retain our levy contributions within our sector to address the skills shortages which will be all the more apparent on the other side of this crisis.”