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TV Tax Break: More Work for You?

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11 November 2013

The government's tax credit scheme for high-end TV drama is having a positive impact on the volume of UK production but how is this affecting employment, skills and career progression?

Join BECTU on Tuesday 26 November to discuss these issues and to offer your thoughts on how the industry should respond to increased demand for staff in key disciplines.

We're delighted that our panel will include:

  • Alison Small, CEO Production Guild
  • Sarah Joyce, TV Partnership Manager, Creative Skillset
  • Samantha Perahia, Senior Production Executive, British Film Commission

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This is a free event open to members and non-members and is organised by the Writers Producers & Directors branch. Join BECTU on the night and save 25 per cent on your first year's membership. Details of venue below.

Members thoughts so far

This summer BECTU asked members where investment in craft, technical and production grades should be placed as the training levy - which employers benefiting from the tax credit are encouraged to pay - comes together in a skills fund. The government has committed to match payments into the fund £1 for £1 for the tax years 2013-14 and 2014-15. Creative Skillset hopes the government can be persuaded to extend the period of match funding by at least one year.

What personnel is needed?

Members' feedback highlighted the following priority areas for the creation of new roles: assistant location managers (lack of formal training means that there are excessive pressure on location managers); lighting crew – all grades; make-up artists (graduate level entry, as short courses are seen as inadequate to meet industry needs); structured and properly paid trainee opportunities as distinct from the assistant role, which should itself be properly supported; art department roles.

What courses are needed?

In terms of courses, members back investments in: multi-camera shooting,editing for drama; Icostume app including budgeting; CAD for experienced art dept draughtspeople [opportunity for a skills exchange with designers more  experienced in IT?]; lighting; genny op; HGV driving; producer training; directing courses (possibly extended to allow for monitored progression and assessment against key criteria); NVQs in the North West; apprenticeships.

Opportunities for many

Members have welcomed the tax credit but are keen to see a real investment in skills, with an emphasis on local skills development, to provide structured opportunities at entry level, encouragement to those with recognised skills, eg in the soaps, to make the transition to high-end production (to qualify there needs to be budget of at least £1m an hour), and support for directors and producers, and other heads of department, willing to mentor those keen to step up.

The event on 26 November, led by speakers whose different perspectives on the issues, really point to the partnership which underpins UK production, is certain to tackle some of these issues; there'll also be an opportunity tfor participants to have a chat over a complimentary drink from BECTU once the more formal discussion is over.

Arrive early to avoid disappointment. The event kicks off on:

Tuesday 26 November, 7.30pm at:

The IBIS Hotel

3 Cardington Street, London NW1 2LW (nearest tube Euston).

If you do book a ticket and subsequently cannot attend please be sure to tell us - write to - as this event is likely to be oversubscribed.

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