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09/12/2005

Innovative job share scheme launched for women in film

A groundbreaking initiative to help women film practitioners returning to work was announced today by Skillset, Sector Skills Council. Timeshift will provide job sharing roles on film productions for teams of eight women with an allowance paid towards child care cost in addition to their salaries. The unique scheme is a part of A Bigger Future, the UK Film Skills Strategy, a five year joint initiative by Skillset and UK Film Council, funded by lottery money and industry investment, to address creative and skills development within the film industry.
Judy Counihan, Director of Film at Skillset, said: “Timeshift is a landmark scheme set to break the mould in film production. Skillset’s research shows that women are under-represented in the production world, especially older women. And we all know the difficulties in juggling career and family responsibilities but this is especially true for women working in film where the freelance working patterns and irregular hours can make it impossible. This scheme will help female talent fulfil their potential and help the industry hang on to the experienced and skilled practitioners it needs to go forward.”
Skillset’s and the UK Film Council’s 2005 Feature Film Production Workforce Survey found that women make up 33% of the workforce. 35% of women earn less than £20,000pa compared to 18% of men. In the higher salary brackets 30% of men earn £50k+ compared with 16% of women. This is despite women being more likely to be qualified to graduate level than men (60% compared with 39%). There were almost no women in the camera, sound, electrical and construction departments while the majority of those working in make-up and hairdressing were women.

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