U.K. Broadcasters Align to Address Production Management Skills Gap


The BBC, Channel 4, Paramount and UKTV are joining forces to address the current production management skills gap facing the U.K. TV industry.

Line producers, production managers and production coordinators are regularly cited as some of the most difficult roles for independent production companies to recruit for—and yet are crucial to the success of the U.K. creative industries. Additionally, there is increasing demand given the growth of productions in the U.K. and the increased requirements on production management.

To address these issues, the broadcasters participating in the scheme are each creating a specific Production Management Skills Fund. This fund will be used to boost the volume of production management skills and capacity in the sector. The intention is to ease the short-term strain in production management and help build a longer-term talent pool.

Collectively, the broadcasters are committing £1 million ($1.3 million) over the next 12 months.

The participating broadcasters will use their PM Skills Funds to contribute at least 50 percent of the salaries of these additional roles for the duration of a production. Where possible, they will prioritize diverse talent, smaller- and medium-sized indies, and those based in the Nations and Regions.

Alongside the PM Skills Fund, these broadcasters have agreed to collaborate on outreach and engagement, working with other relevant industry organizations to market production management as a career.

David Pembrey, chief operating officer of BBC Content, said: “Production management is a highly skilled and vital part of our industry. We want this funding to make a positive difference to productions who we know are managing increased requirements—as well as help develop the next generation of production management talent.”

Clare Brown, controller of production finance at Channel 4, said: “As a former production manager myself, I know that PMs and PCs are at the heart of a production and integral to its success. Funded from 4Skills, this fund will help to develop and sustain that production management talent pool which is so critical to the continued growth of production in the U.K.”

Nan Whittingham, VP of production for the U.K. at Paramount, said: “Production Managers are vital to our industry; content can’t be created without finding and retaining top-class production management talent. This dedicated initiative is a major priority for us, and we’re delighted to work with our broadcast partners on it. It will support Paramount’s own learning, development, and skills gaps funding as announced by Ben Frow last year.”

Richard Watsham, director of commissioning at UKTV, added: “Production management is a vital and long undervalued part of our industry, and the skills gap in this area impacts us all. It’s something we should take seriously, acting swiftly to rectify. The essential funding announced today will help, but we must continue to monitor progress and take further action as appropriate to ensure the incredible creativity of British production is protected.”