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Screen Alliance North is a BFI Skills Cluster, created by Liverpool Film Office, North East Screen, Screen Manchester and Screen Yorkshire with support of the BFI, awarding National Lottery funding.
The four screen agencies have come together as a lead skills body for the North of England to tackle skills shortages and improve access to quality training provision for diverse talent and communities. The initial three-year programme will enable the four partners to work strategically across the broader North to build a stronger, happier and more inclusive skilled workforce, helping to secure its future as a leading global centre for screen production.
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In April 2023 we were awarded £2.3m BFI National Lottery Funding to make the screen sector more accessible and representative and to build a thriving and skilled workforce across the whole of the North of England, which proudly reflects on our
Diverse, talented and ambitious communities
Dynamic culture and heritage
Drive to become a beacon of sustainable screen production
The funding will enable us to work collaboratively with local industry and education and training providers to develop clearer pathways to long-term employment in film and TV production. We believe in a screen sector where access to opportunity is the norm. Whatever your background or wherever you live, we see a future for those with the ambition to work in the sector.
We are a uniquely northern partnership, grounded in a national context with sights set internationally. As we work closely with the screen industries and regional authorities, we can connect industry knowledge, opportunities and partnerships so that we can help boost regional economy and employment. The scale of our footprint across the whole of the North of England gives us the opportunity to identify the skills needed, to reach out to new entrants from a range of backgrounds to support their career journeys and can steer decision-makers and providers towards sustainable skills provision.
The BFI Skills Cluster investment aims to strike a balance between building on existing production infrastructure to provide new entrance and development opportunities in the most established areas of activity, while also helping to grow local crew bases in more emergent areas.
The funding focusses on establishing localised support for skills development and training with a clear aim to create new opportunities for people from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue careers in the sector.
Working with the screen industry across the North of England we have five main objectives
Preparing new entrants from diverse backgrounds for work in the screen industry
Helping new entrants access work through hands-on craft, technical and production training
Supporting crew to progress within a more inclusive and responsible workplace culture
Mapping and measuring impact on the screen workforce and on carbon reduction
Developing an industry-sustained skills cluster that will thrive beyond 2026
Working together we want to engage the screen industry in a number of connected programmes. So far these include
Programme: Screen Apprenticeships
Screen Apprenticeships
We are working with local studios and facilities in each key Northern hub to facilitate apprenticeships.
A vocational, industry informed qualification route (Level 3 Apprenticeship) best suited to those starting a screen career without a degree.
Programme: Building Skills
Building Skills
A combined short course plus placement route best suited to those changing careers or needing to supplement an existing screen qualification with intensive role-based learning.
We seek industry sponsorship for course participants and explore the mid to long term viability of integrating the courses into Screen Apprenticeship delivery.
Programme: Screen Industry Placements
Screen Industry Placements
A direct-to-placement route, best suited for those who have completed a screen related degree or level 3 further education qualification.
Placements will vary in duration and offer a wide range of entry-level experiences, all will be subsidised to 50% of local living wage for the first five weeks. Employers will be required to match the wage cost and agree to a simple but robust training plan and accountable placement supervisor.
Programme: Next Level Crew
Next Level Crew
Local career development, connecting productions and experienced Northern professionals with diverse crew who are looking to step up, return to the industry or make a move to a different screen role.
Support may take the form of shadowing opportunities, careers coaching and/or mentoring. Bursary support will be available to help participants engage with progression opportunities, e.g travel to a shadowing opportunity in a different region across the North of England.
Programme: Northern Screen Leaders for Change
Northern Screen Leaders for Change
We are working with the Coalition for Change to proactively encourage best practice in screen production across our screen industries and reflect contemporary attitudes and aspirations to working conditions.
We want to secure a happy and vibrant workforce by looking into covering workplace creches, health and wellbeing champions, green co-ordinators, training managers and job sharing. We want to support and facilitate inclusion of diverse entrants and crew as they enter and progress in the industry.
Programme: Screen Industry Futures
Screen Industry Futures
We will work with a dedicated industry advisory group, comprising key voices in the Northern screen landscape, to help encourage and increase industry ownership of workforce development.
Consultation will not be limited to this group, and members will be encouraged to draw on and share their professional networks and expertise to help keep Screen Alliance North skills activity relevant, viable and investable.
What we need from you
Engagement is key and we want to partner with all those invested in growing a sustainable and happy workforce.
We want our screen industry workforce in the North of England to be world-renowned. We want to set the standard for best practice for working conditions, health and wellbeing, sustainability and environmental impact. We want to make a difference to our industry and we want to work with you to do that. Please get in touch if you would like to support our programmes, get involved in our activity, inform further planning and development or just want to find out more.
Picture of Penny Hall
Penny Hall
Skills Cluster Partnership Lead
Penny’s role is to build key partnerships with screen industry employers and manage an industry advisory group to champion the Alliance’s vision of making the industry more sustainable and improving good working practice.
Please contact Penny for enquiries about working in partnership with Screen Alliance North.
Picture of Cassandra White
Cassandra White
Skills Cluster Evaluation Manager
Cassandra is responsible for evaluating the wide range of activities delivered by Screen Alliance North, capturing data, tracking participant engagement and compiling case studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of the work.
Please contact Cass if you are interested in finding out what our programmes are achieving across the North of England