Create Central launches TV production bootcamp to help West Midlands creative talent into jobs following the global pandemic



The region’s independent TV sector is calling on creative talent from across the West Midlands to join an innovative new skills bootcamp.

Create Central – the West Midlands trade body set up to turbo-charge the region’s film, TV and games industries – is working with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), which has funded the scheme, to help the region’s screen industry discover new talent, or to encourage people from other careers to switch to the TV industry.

Create Central members who work in the TV sector have helped to shape the bootcamp content and are offering real-life work experience for existing gaps in their businesses, with a guaranteed job interview at the end.

Create Central launches TV production bootcamp to help West Midlands creative talent into jobs following the global pandemic

Shipmates is one of the programmes produced by independent TV company Full Fat Television, which is involved in the bootcamp, at its Birmingham office. Picture courtesy of Full Fat Television

Create Central and the WMCA have teamed up with Solihull College & University Centre, which will provide the skills training.

The bootcamp will consist of an intensive month-long programme followed by a real-to-life work placement in one of the region’s top TV companies for people who have the drive and commitment to work in the TV sector.

The bootcamp will help creatives gain the experience needed to become researchers, production co-ordinators or runners.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “In the heart of the UK and the home of TV and film hits like Peaky Blinders, Man Like Mobeen, Gadget Show, Great British Menu and Small Axe, our creative sector offers a variety of rewarding careers for local people.

“Even in these difficult times when many people have sadly fallen out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are opportunities for residents to retrain for a new career in the TV sector.

“This pilot bootcamp shows we are delivering on the promises we made at the launch of Create Central, when we pledged up to £500,000 to train more people for jobs in the film, TV and games sectors.”

Create Central was developed with national bodies including the BFI, ScreenSkills, Ukie, Creative England and the Creative Industries Federation to build on the region’s existing creative and cultural talent and take it to the next level, helping to drive investment, growth and new jobs.

Chaired by international industry heavyweight Ed Shedd, Create Central’s members include Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, award-winning directors Daniel Alexander and Justin Edgar, digital influencer and artist Amrit Singh, Nativity franchise creator Debbie Isitt and more.

Independent TV companies from across the region are involved in the first bootcamp, including FirstLookTV, Daniel Alexander Films and Full Fat Television.

Neil Duncanson, Create Central Member and CEO of North One, whose Birmingham base produces Gadget Show, Fifth Gear, Travel Man and all Guy Martin’s programming, said “It's great for Create Central to partner with the WMCA to develop this bootcamp, to support the indie TV sector to get the right talent into our businesses, as we continue to recover from the impact of coronavirus. Create Central members are really supportive of an industry-led approach, so that further education colleges can provide as real-to-work training as possible."

Lisa Cleaver, head of school for visual performing arts and media at Solihull College & University Centre, said: “We are delighted to be working with Create Central and the WMCA on this exciting project. It gives us the opportunity to work alongside industry to develop meaningful training which directly prepares people for the realities of a career in the screen industry. Every aspect of this programme is being co-designed and delivered with the industry, including adhering to latest industry guidance on filming in a Covid-safe way, it is set to be an engaging and exciting programme.”

For more information about the pilot bootcamp, visit https://www.solihull.ac.uk/create-central-bootcamps/ . The closing date for applications is midnight on 3 January 2021.

Watch this video to hear why award-winning director Daniel Alexander wanted to support this course and how Wonder TV’s Sarah Trigg values the skills that learners will gain in the TV production bootcamp: https://vimeo.com/486417275

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