Channel 5 Sets Seven-Figure Training Fund


Channel 5 is planning to commit an annual seven-figure sum toward a training fund, in an effort to boost industry learning and development.

Production companies can submit applications to the fund for their employees and freelancers working on Channel 5 programming, at any stage during a contracted production. The companies can choose the course topics and which training providers they wish to use. There is an annual training allowance cap of £15,000 ($20,600) per one indie.

Channel 5 has signed up to ScreenSkills’ Unscripted TV Skills Fund, which means 0.25 percent of the budget of factual and entertainment programs will go toward training. Channel 5 is requiring all cast and crew on its productions to complete ScreenSkills’ free anti-bullying and harassment training prior to production commencing.

The broadcaster has also committed to reevaluating its hourly program tariffs for peak-time commissions, a move to release individual productions from the constraints of a per-hour budget model. Moving forward, Channel 5 will agree to the genre for each program, then negotiate and agree on indicative pricing that addresses specific production requirements rather than applying a fixed, per-hour pricing tariff model.

Ben Frow, chief content officer for ViacomCBS Networks UK, said: “The clamors for change in our industry are loud, and it’s important that we do our best to respond to them. We are a sector which is wholly dependent on talent, and through this training fund, we are helping to invest in people’s future careers.

“It is no secret that Channel 5 has always operated on lower tariffs, and we want to ensure that fixed hourly budgets don’t put undue pressure on the production process. By reevaluating the constraints of per-hour tariffs, we can look at commissioning deliverables more holistically going forward.”