ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for UK screen, commissioned Saffery and Nordicity to co-author a new report looking at film and high-end TV production growth and skills needs in the UK.
The research, which benefitted from National Lottery funds awarded by the BFI, found:
- Film and high-end TV (HETV) production is likely to hit between £7.07 billion and £7.66 billion by 2025.
- Between 15,130 and 20,770 additional crew members are needed to meet demand.
- By 2025, training existing and new workforce will need annual investment of £95.1 million to £104.3 million.
- The estimated economic return is more than 15 times the cost of the training investment.
Film and high-end television production in the UK could be worth £7.66 billion – up from £5.64 billion – by 2025 and require nearly 21,000 more crew under a detailed analysis published today.
The report, Forecast of Labour Market Shortages and Training Investment Needs in Film and High-end TV Production, notes that between £95.1 million and £104.3 million will be needed annually by 2025 to train the film and HETV workforce – both existing and the new recruits.
The impact of training investment
The indirect and induced impact of training investment in the order of £104.3 million would go a long way to creating a further 23,270 full-time jobs across the UK economy on top of the additional 20,770 crew. Latest figures show film and high-end television currently generates the equivalent of 122,000 full-time jobs.
Spending approximately £289.3 million on training during the three-year period 2023 to 2025 would enable film and HE TV production to generate an additional £4.56 billion in GVA (gross value added) including direct, indirect and induced impact. This represents an economic return of more than 15 times the training investment.
Saffery and Nordicity conducted interviews with major film and HETV production companies alongside an analysis of existing published and unpublished research to conclude that there is still room for growth on top of the rapid expansion fuelled by the introduction of the HETV Tax Relief in 2013 and a strong bounce back after the Covid lockdown.
Stephen Bristow, Partner at Saffery and co-author of the report, commented:
“Our report demonstrates a compelling case for making significant additional investment in training to supply the behind-the-scenes talent needed to support expected growth in the sector over the next few years. Just under 2.7 million square feet of additional stage space is due to come online by 2025 and a lot of people will be required to service the film and HETV productions making use of that.”
Dustin Chodorowicz, Partner at Nordicity and co-author of the report, remarked:
“Our analysis shows that the UK’s film and HETV sub-sector has been incredibly resilient in recent years. With an annual training investment equal to only 1.4% of total annual production spend, the sub-sector can ensure its existing workforce and the new workers entering in the next few years will have the skills to enable the sub-sector’s continued growth in the years to come.”
The authors conclude that film and HETV production in the UK is likely to grow at an annual average rate of 7.3% between 2022 and 2025. They project that spending will reach between £7.07 billion and £7.66 billion by 2025 – an additional £1.43 billion to £2.02 billion spending from the 2021 figure of £5.64 billion.
The cost of training the workforce – with both light-touch and more intensive interventions – was based on figures for existing ScreenSkills training programmes.
In a high-growth scenario, annual spending of £104.3 million on training would represent 1.4% of the forecast level of production spend
of £7.66 billion in 2025. This would be higher than sectors such as manufacturing and construction but lower than the business services and hotels and restaurants sectors where training investment rates were 3.5% and 2.5% respectively in 2019.
Seetha Kumar, CEO ScreenSkills, said: “The data in this report will help us all plan sensibly to ensure the UK has the skilled and inclusive workforce needed to capitalise on the potential for further growth. The film and television industry is one of the UK’s great success stories and we need to work together to keep it that way. Growing the workforce will help ensure the country fully benefits from the projected growth in production expenditure.”