New WorldSkills competition to tackle film and TV shortages

WorldSkills UK pledges to launch make up and special effects competition by 2025

WorldSkills UK pledges to launch make up and special effects competition by 2025

apprenticeships

WorldSkills UK plans to roll out a new competition to address the “skills and gender diversity crisis” in the UK film and TV industry. 

The skills charity has promised to introduce a special effects (SFX) make-up programme by 2025 and promote skills in its national events that can be applied to the screen industries. 

The new competition, which will see young people use make-up and prosthetics to create special effects for film and television, is replacing the existing creative media make-up competition to focus more on the film and TV industries. 

WorldSkills UK will meet with training providers and creative industry experts this month to develop the competition to “align with employer needs” and plans to launch in early 2025. 

The pledge comes as a new report by WorldSkills UK and the BBC warns of growing skills shortages in the film and TV sector and the perceived high barriers to entry from young people wanting to get into the industry. 

Screen industries, which encompass film and TV, visual effects and video games, contributed £23 billion to the UK economy in 2022 but recent studies show 87 per cent of employers in the industry have a skills shortage problem. 

Through a poll of over 2,000 young people, the report found that appetite for a career in the screen industries is being hindered by patchy careers advice by employers and training providers and a limited awareness of job opportunities in their technical skill in film and TV. 

Emma Roberts, WorldSkills UK’s external affairs director said: “We know there are fantastic careers to be had in the screen industries, one of the fastest growing and internationally renowned sectors of our economy, but at the moment too many young people don’t see a way in.” 

The report also found that young people thought it more important to know someone who already works in the industry and 87 per cent were not aware that carpentry and joinery were desired skills. 

WorldSkills UK has advised employers and training providers to improve its careers information and has pledged to promote “good practice” of local partnerships in FE colleges. 

“As a college, you don’t need to have a film and TV department,” Roberts told FE Week. “You could have a hairdressing team, but you can still show people that they can get into the creative industries. Those are the best practice examples we want to show.” 

The report comes shortly after the announcement of the 31 competitors who will represent Team UK at the global “skills Olympics” in Lyon, France, this September. 

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