ITV to open academy to teach make-up artist, set designer and other production workers to take advantage of streaming boom

ITV will soon open its academy for make-up artists, set designers, and other staff in TV production to take advantage of the boom in streaming. 

Britain’s most prominent commercial broadcaster is exploring options to create a training institution, most likely in North England, in order to combat a skill shortage in TV and film production. 

According to The Mail on Sunday, a review was launched in order to determine the skills required by ITV’s broadcasting and production divisions. This consultation took place with ITV Studios bosses and specialist production houses. These include World Productions, which made Vigil for the BBC, and Big Talk Productions, the maker of Cold Feet. 

Make-up boom: Hits like Downton Abbey helped drive a need for TV staff

Boom in make-up: TV talent was needed to help with hits like Downton Abbey.

There are severe shortages of staff in the industry. Covid has delayed productions that were scheduled for this year. Meanwhile, new scripts are being penned under lockdown and filming. Britain is fast becoming an international hub for high-end dramas and streaming content for platforms like Apple TV, Netflix, and others. 

The boom is expected to create up to 30,000 new jobs within five years. 10,000 additional employees will need training. This has led to a scramble for specialist employees, such as make-up artists, set designers, production managers, editors and technicians.

ITV executives are determined to do everything possible to fill specific roles in the future. ITV is currently evaluating all options. One possibility is an ITV-branded academy. It could be located in the North West where Coronation Street airs. 

Sources said that the training could be done in collaboration with organizations such as National Film and Television School. 

Gareth Ellis Unwin is the head of film for ScreenSkills’ careers agency ScreenSkills. He said, “We are experiencing an unprecedented boom.” It’s not just the volume of shows, but the bigger budgets and scale of ambition which require bigger crews. There are many courses, as well as feeder programs. These efforts must not be fragmented. 

Will Ingham was the founder and CEO of Wing production company. The emphasis at universities is on camerawork and film-making. Everybody wants to become a rock star director rather than just get it done. 

ITV refused to comment.