Published date 7 May 2024

Applications open for round 2 of West of England Film & High-End TV Workforce Development programme

Bottle Yard Studios
Image credit: Bottle Yard Studios

Applications are now open for the second round of the 2024 West of England Film & High-End TV Workforce Development programme delivered at The Bottle Yard Studios, which supports local people looking to break into behind-the-camera roles on scripted productions made in the region.

Backed by West of England Combined Authority investment, the industry-led programme is delivered by the Studios in partnership with Bristol UNESCO City of Film and Bristol Film Office.

The Programme offers tailored training to demystify the world of scripted production and prepare trainees for entry level positions in the industry, with the aim of strengthening the pipeline of diverse local crew talent. Sessions include an Industry Induction Day at The Bottle Yard Studios and a bespoke 5-week training scheme delivered by Bristol training provider Stepping Up, focused on confidence-building, set etiquette and work-readiness, communication skills and teamwork, wellbeing and resilience, as well as digital and financial literacy and how to find work as a freelancer. After completing the training, participants are added to a New Entrants Portfolio shared with film and high-end TV productions filming in the region.

Laura Aviles, Head of Film, Bristol City Council says: “After the challenges of the 2023 US writers and actors strikes which slowed film and TV production across the UK, we’re pleased to say that Bristol is looking set to be increasingly busy in the months ahead, with numerous greenlit productions booked in to film at The Bottle Yard and on location this Summer. With scripted production stepping up again in our region, this Programme is creating an important pathway to not only guide local talent into the workforce, but to really prepare them for the realities of what it’s like to work in this industry, so that they are best equipped to make the most of employment opportunities in the years ahead.”

Natalie Moore, Bristol UNESCO City of Film Manager, says: “We’re delighted to be opening applications for Round 2 of this Programme, and to see the network of trainees begin to grow. Developing a skills pathway for scripted crew is a key priority in the Bristol UNESCO City of Film Action Plan, and this is a crucial project for the long-term sustainability of our film sector. Bringing forward homegrown talent from a wide range of backgrounds makes for a more resilient industry base with a more diverse local workforce for the future.”

Applications are invited from residents of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, and South Gloucestershire aged 17 and above* from backgrounds that are currently underrepresented in the industry. Underrepresented groups include: young people aged 17-25*, those not in education, employment or training, under-employed people and those on zero-hour contracts, women, people from the global majority, disabled people, people living with mental health issues, carers and care leavers. An Access Fund is provided to support any participants who face a financial barrier to taking part.

Round One of the Programme launched in January 2024. 14 trainees have since undergone bespoke training which included special industry facing guest sessions with Bristol Crew, Visual Impact Camera and Lighting Rental and a major production currently in pre-production at The Bottle Yard. Amy-Jane, one of the trainees from the first cohort, says: “The Programme has not only been an informative experience, it has brought together a group of people who have become a supportive network for eachother. The Coordinators from The Bottle Yard Studios and Stepping Up are supportive and knowledgeable, they go above and beyond to make the scheme the best it can be. I believe this Programme will be an important asset in ensuring underrepresented individuals are getting the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience, to seek employment in TV/film production.”

The West of England Combined Authority is working in partnership with Bristol City Council’s Film Services (comprising The Bottle Yard Studios, Bristol UNESCO City of Film and Bristol Film Office) to deliver the Mayoral Priority Skills Fund. This fund provides flexible grant to meet current priority skills gaps in the region. This project is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

For more information and to apply, visit Bottle Yard Studios.

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