Film London has been awarded £2.2 million National Lottery funding from the British Film Institute (BFI) to deliver the Metro London Skills Cluster in partnership with the National Film and Television School (NFTS).
Official 2022 statistics revealed a record £6.27bn film and high-end television production spend in the UK, reinforcing UK’s position as a leading global production centre. The new skills cluster will serve to help meet this demand, developing and expanding London’s talented workforce.
The Metro London Skills Cluster will be led by Film London and the National Film and Television School (NFTS) and will include three core partners: the Association of Colleges(AoC) and London Higher, the Capital City College Group (CCCG) and Middlesex University. Collectively, the Cluster partners will work closely with industry to deliver an integrated programme of activities across London and the three Gateway counties.
Film London and the NFTS will work with streamers including Warner Bros. Discovery, Disney, Netflix and Amazon, and the studios that they use as a base for physical production, along with other employers, colleges and universities across the Skills Cluster region.
The initial activity of the Metro London Skills Cluster will focus on three broad thematic areas: Employability, Workforce Retention and Progression for New Entrants and Curriculum Development/Pilots.
Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive for Film London, said: “Global demand for screen content is at an all-time high, creating opportunities at every level. So it’s vital that we continue to develop our talented, diverse workforce here in London, to capitalise on the demand and fill thousands of new jobs being created.
“The studio space across London and the South East continues to expand in response to this production boom, but the high volume of production means that the skills shortage - which is impacting all areas of the screen sector - is even more acute. The Metro London Skills Cluster region has some of the biggest opportunities for growth and our thanks go to the BFI for awarding the funds to deliver this work. It is a pleasure to partner with NFTS and to provide an even wider level of access to opportunities across London and the South East.”
Dr Jon Wardle, Director, National Film and Television School, said: “The NFTS is proud to be working with Film London on the Metro London Skills Cluster, and with the other BFI Skills Clusters across the country, to deliver lasting change to the industry. We are fully committed to ensuring the demand for highly trained creative workers is met by the nurturing of diverse future talent in our region and the delivery of world class courses, as well as opportunities to ‘get a foot in the door’.”
The Metro London Skills Cluster will cover London and three of the Gateway counties to its west - Hertfordshire, Surrey and Buckinghamshire. The area is home to major producers and studios including Elstree, Pinewood, Ealing, Twickenham, Shepperton, Leavesden, Longcross and Bovingdon. These studios are also the UK production centres for some of the biggest film and television companies in the world including Warner Bros. Discovery, Disney, Netflix and Amazon.