NBCUniversal and Film London partner to bring jobs boom to the UK

The talent partnership between NBCUniversal, Film London and the Mayor of London will allow young Londoners to work on major film and TV productions 

By Priyanca Rajput 18 May 2022

NBCUniversal and Film London partner to bring jobs boom to the UK
Credit: Sean Buur, Film London

Young Londoners from underrepresented communities will work in various creative disciplines behind the camera on Universal productions including Wicked and Fast X, through a new partnership between NBCUniversal, Film London and London's Mayor's Office.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan joined Dame Donna Langley DBE, Chairwoman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group and Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London, at Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles last week to announce the partnership — as part of London’s economic recovery post pandemic.

The UK film and TV industry will be worth over an estimated £6bn by 2024/25 and projections indicate the UK's film industry will necessitate 50,000 jobs over the next few years to facilitate proliferating productions. 

In 2021, film and high-end TV production spend in the UK reached over £5bn, with the majority of the sector based in and around London, yielding substantial job prospects.

Two of Universal Pictures’ popular franchises, Wicked and Fast X, will be filmed in London — where young Londoners from diverse backgrounds will undertake NBCUniversal’s Below-the Line (BTL) Traineeship and work on the productions behind-the-scenes.

Trainees recruited via Film London’s Equal Access Network (EAN) have already started work on Fast X as part of the partnership — working in the props, costume, assistant directing, camera, production and Digital Imaging Technician departments. Led by Universal’s Global Talent Development & Inclusion (GTDI), the BTL Traineeship will provide on and off-the-job training and mentorship across select below-the-line departments.

Combining training at the Mayor’s Creative Screen Sector Skills Academy with on-set experience and mentorship from the heads of department on NBCUniversal productions will be a catapult for thousands of job opportunities in the film and TV industry.

Commenting on the partnership in a statement, Mayor Sadiq Khan said: Our capital’s booming film industry is helping to drive our economic recovery, but it’s vital that we ensure that Londoners from all backgrounds can benefit. That’s why I’m so proud to announce this ground-breaking partnership with NBCUniversal and Film London that will see young Londoners from diverse backgrounds earn a unique opportunity to start their careers in the film and TV industry.

Universal's Dame Langley added: Extending the Comcast NBCUniversal's Foundation’s work to London is the natural next step for us with our deep history and ongoing connection with the UK and its thriving filmmaking community. Programmes like this are vital to encourage equitable access and resources for emerging talent to explore careers in our industry.

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