By Daniel Hunter

Creative Media employers are celebrating following the Government’s Budget that up to £10m over two years will be invested into skills development. The funding is in addition to the £6m already announced in The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement to support key sectors to the UK economy.

Iain Smith, Producer, Chair of Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Council and the Film Industry Training Board, said: “This enables us to build on the strong foundations of the UK film skills strategy to date and enhances the recent National Lottery investment from the BFI. It ensures we make an impact fast on gaps and shortages and can invest in the skills needed for a successful future.”

Marion Edwards, Executive Producer of HIT Entertainment and Chair of Creative Skillset’s Animation Skills Council, said: “We have set up a coalition between Pact Animation, Animation UK and a new Creative Skillset Animation Council, and have already identified key shortages and potential solutions in order to prepare for the expected production increase in what is an internationally recognised area of UK expertise.”

Ian Livingstone OBE Life President of Eidos and Chair of Creative Skillset’s Video Games Skills Council, said: “The need for new skills and new talent is essential if we are going to grow and compete globally. Creative Skillset, UKIE and TIGA are united on this mission and will agree collective investment strategies to make sure we train and retain our talent in the UK.”

John McVay, Chief Executive of Pact and Chair of the TV Coalition said: “The TV Coalition is advising Creative Skillset on investment plans and a new levy for High End TV production. We are delighted that the strategic vision from the industry is matched by Government support.”

Anne Morrison, Director of the BBC Academy and Chair of Creative Skillset’s TV and Content Strategy Group, said: “The announcement is great news for the TV industry. It will enable professionals from across the industry to develop their skills and become specialists in the high end spectrum of production. It will enrich our industry’s already well-respected creative and technical skills base to maintain its status for high quality TV production.”

Alex Hope OBE, Managing Director & Co-Founder of Double Negative, Co-author of the ‘Next Gen’ Report and Creative Skillset Board Member said: "The Government's recognition of the content production centre and visual effects' position within that is hugely welcome. The measures announced offer significant opportunity to drive this sector forward and invest in our greatest asset - the tremendous talent existent in the UK.”

In total the Chancellor has ear-marked new Government co-investment to a total of £16m to match industries’ leading to a total of £32m. This will provide entry and professional level training for over 5,000 individuals working in film, high-end TV, animation, video games, and additionally, now the key sector of VFX (Special Visual Effects).

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