Screen Australia partners with VicScreen for $1.4 million Screen Careers initiative

From left are Denise Eriksen, Esther Coleman Hawkins, Caroline Pitcher, Ken Crouch and Fiona Gilroy. (Image: Daniel Mahon)

Screen Australia and VicScreen will put $1.4 million across the next four years to support industry-led training programs and skills development opportunities for below-the-line crew via a new not-for-profit organisation.

Leveraging partnerships with ScreenSkills UK, BFI, and BAFTA, Screen Careers will provide foundational training to aspiring screen practitioners, including school leavers, TAFE, and university students, while enabling established individuals to progress and grow their careers within their respective fields through in-person workshops and e-learning programs.

Media Mentors co-founders Denise Eriksen and Esther Coleman-Hawkins will lead the Melbourne-based organisation, alongside ABC head of content Chris Oliver Taylor, who is the inaugural chair. They are joined by head of business development and communications Fiona Gilroy and chief operating officer Megan Mohell.

Screen Australia CEO Deirdre Brennan described Screen Careers as an “exciting advancement” amid the agency’s efforts to meet the demands of Australia’s screen sector.

“This new initiative will address skills shortages by supporting crew at all stages of their careers, driving sustainability for our industry on a national scale,” she said.

VicScreen CEO Caroline Pitcher said the multi-faceted initiative would deliver “real results” for Victoria’s screen industry and kickstart sustainable and successful careers for the next generation of below-the-line practitioners in the state.

“Industry has told us that more below-the-line skills and training is needed as a matter of urgency and we are proud to be leading the charge in addressing this strategic need through our partnership with Screen Careers and Screen Australia. Victoria.”

Coleman-Hawkins said the organisation was committed to providing essential training and lifelong support to below-the-line crew, ensuring a steady influx of skilled professionals into the industry.”

“Screen Careers represents a significant investment in nurturing talent and fostering a robust pipeline of skilled professionals to meet the evolving demands of the industry,” she said.