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24/11/2010

Skillset Backs Freelancers' Day

The role of the creative media industries has been recognised as part of a special day of celebration.
Skillset has hailed the work of all of the 128,000 freelancers that are working in the sector as part of November's National Freelancers' Day (Tuesday, 23rd).
Representing a quarter of the creative media workforce, freelancers make an essential contribution, the training organisation said, noting that film and television industries are particularly reliant on freelancers, where they make up 34% and 28% of the workforce respectively.
"These workers enable the film and television industries to remain flexible and dynamic, adapting to changes in technological and production patterns rapidly to help our industries stay ahead of the curve," said a statement.
However, as self-employed contractors, freelancers are often at a disadvantage when it comes to having the funds and time they need to access the latest training.
Skillset has long been aware of this fact, and the challenge that poses for the film and television industries generally and that is why Skillset administers a broad range of funding schemes to give freelancers access to the training they need.
At present, Skillset has training bursaries of up to £1,000 available for freelancers working in the TV and film industries to access training in a range of subject areas and in response to Skillset's research that shows that just 42% of the workforce is female, compared to 46% in the UK economy, Skillset aims to award more than half of these bursaries to women.
Skillset's Chief Executive, Dinah Caine, said: "At Skillset we see our role as both a champion for the skills interests of freelancers, helping to find solutions for the skills challenges that they face.
"National Freelancers Day was a great chance to thank our freelancers for all of their hard work, and renew our pledge to work with our industries to make sure that freelancers continue to be a valued section of our workforce."
These schemes are funded through two industry-specific funds, the first of which is the TV Freelance Fund (TVFF).
The TVFF is the result of an agreement between UK broadcasters and the Indie Training Fund to invest in training for the television workforce.
The contributors are: BBC, Channel 4, Five, Sky and cable and satellite companies, and the ITF via contributions from member companies. Film freelancers are funded via the Film Skills Fund, which comes from Lottery funds via the UK Film Council.
To find out more about which of these bursaries are available visit: www.skillset.org/tvbursaries and film freelancers should visit www.skillset.org/filmbursaries
(BMcC/GK)
VMI.TV Ltd

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