BBC Studioworks is fuelling its commitment to building creative communities and investing in the future by providing much-needed access for the next generation of future talent
Following a successful pilot last year, eight more BBC Studioworks staff will mentor eight Elstree Screen Arts students starting in November. The programme, run in partnership with ScreenSkills, forms one element of Studioworks’ strategy in tackling the skills shortage in the industry. Using National Lottery funds awarded to ScreenSkills by the BFI as part of the Future Films Skills programme, the mentoring scheme will provide much-needed support for school leavers from underrepresented groups.
BBC Studioworks is also enhancing its partnership with Rise Up to deliver video content designed to inspire the next generation of engineers (especially female engineers) into the industry. The content will get under the skin of the broadcast engineering role and bring it to life for those considering their career choices, as well as showcasing the breadth and depth of the opportunities available. The aim is for this to become available to all primary and secondary schools and will form part of the toolkit provided via the Rise Up Academy.
In addition, BBC Studioworks has volunteered to be part of Rise Up Academy’s ‘Project1000’ initiative, to deliver live broadcasting workshops and masterclasses to 1,000 technical college students and school children by Christmas.
Opening up its doors to students has always been firmly at the heart of Studioworks and will continue in the autumn as it welcomes a mix of craft students (from cameras, sound and vision mixing) from the National Film and Television School and Elstree Screen Arts. Ensuring full covid compliance, the students will get a real feel for life on a production, shadowing Studioworks’ off-screen technical talent, seeing real situations on a live show and gaining hands on experience with broadcasting kit.
“We’re on a mission to engage and connect with a young audience like never before,” said Katie Leveson, Culture and Transformation Director, BBC Studioworks. “We’re an operational business that relies on the best off-screen talent to deliver the most ambitious and complex light entertainment shows in the country. We need to continue to inform and inspire the next generation of talent, opening their eyes to the many opportunities available to them off-screen. Only by opening up access to our industry, and investing in training and future careers, will we broaden horizons and help to build the strong and diverse pipeline the industry is crying out for.”
Focus and investment in training and development also extends inside Studioworks where younger members of the craft team are given opportunities to rotate from working on continuing drama and panel shows, through to talk shows and some of the biggest live entertainment shows on TV. This is the start of many initiatives planned to build on the skillset within Studioworks and further develop the careers of its employees.