Screen Australia launches three new initiatives to build below-the-line capacity

Screen Australia has unveiled three new initiatives aimed at boosting below-the-line capacity, including support for mid-career practitioners, work-based learning opportunities, and training for people from adjacent industries or returning to screen after a career break.

The agency has also hired Amelia Carew-Reid as training and development manager, reporting into head of industry development Ken Crouch.

Carew-Reid previously worked at Screen NSW as manager, industry development, where she also managed funding programs and designed initiatives to build industry capacity. Her experience also includes positions with Create NSW, Sydney Opera House, NSW Film and Television Office and Metro Screen.

Screen Australia’s recently-appointed head of industry development, Ken Crouch, said it was committed to ensuring the industry could meet production demand, and that programs announced today are designed to support as many crew as possible, especially those where there are known shortages.

“The response to these shortages needs to be led by the industry, and we want to hear from the sector about what their priorities are so we can support them to address these areas,” he said.

“We have a wealth of talent and these programs will help springboard the careers of capable practitioners as they advance into leadership roles, increase their confidence and ability, return to the industry from a career break or transfer their skills from other areas into the screen industry. By delivering these programs with the industry, we can work together to make sure we are in the best position to keep up the pace.”

Minster for the Arts, Tony Burke add: “The screen industry is booming right now in Australia and we need more talented, skilled workers to help steer it along. One of the principles of Revive, our cultural policy, is that creative talent is nurtured through fair renumeration, industry standards and safe and inclusive work cultures. Programs such as BTL Next Step demonstrate the viability of work within the creative industries and help more people move into them.”

Last month, Screen Australia also announced $1 million for state screen agencies to support their own training and skills development programs, including placements for below-the-line roles.

The programs are:

BTL Next Step

Through this initiative, Screen Australia will support eight to 12 mid-career practitioners to take the next step in their career by undertaking a paid placement where they will be mentored and attain a credit. The program is designed to prepare participants for future senior roles.

The placements will be in crew and leadership roles that have been identified as experiencing shortages:

  • Line producer
  • Production manager
  • Location manager
  • Post-production supervisor

Host companies can submit an Expression of Interest as part of this first stage, and applications will open for practitioners in the coming months. Guidelines here.

Production crew skills training fund

This new funding program will support production companies and businesses that service the screen industry with grants of up to $80,000 to provide skills development through structured work-based learning and training. These proposals must benefit at least three participants and may include emerging practitioners receiving on-the-job training to gain confidence and a credit; training to support upskilling crew into mid-career and HOD roles; or other tailored structured programs.

The fund is open to productions across all formats and genres, and a financial co-contribution from the applicant is strongly recommended. The recipients will need to develop a detailed skills development plan that addresses the crew skills needs of their production or the screen sector more broadly.

Applications are now open and close at 5pm AEST May 25. Guidelines here.

Transferable skills and returning crew training fund

Screen Australia will provide grants of up to $50,000 to screen industry training organisations and screen businesses to develop and deliver initiatives for:

  • BTL practitioners returning to work after a break in their careers; and/or
  • People working in other industries to identify transferable skills and connect those skills to BTL crew jobs.

These may include masterclasses, workshops and training programs, mentorship programs, individual and group career coaching, or targeted training activities with BTL crew jobs as an outcome of the opportunity.

Applications are now open and close at 5pm AEST May 25. Guidelines here.