AUSFILM’S WORKFORCE CAPACITY WORKING GROUP

Image including ten or more crew members of varied gender working collaboratively with camera and production equipment

In December 2021, Ausfilm convened a national working group to bring together government, industry and educators to develop strategies and a framework to skill-up our next generation A-grade crew for screen production.

Between July 2020 to June 2021, AU$1.914 billion was spent in Australia on producing drama for our screens. There were 158 local and international feature, TV and streaming projects made in the last year alone, which is twice the amount from the previous year, and forecasts show that the level of screen production in Australia will not only remain at current levels but increase each year by 5%.

Each local drama production employs on average 50-150 crew and on international production, crew numbers tend to be around 500-1000. Animation and VFX companies can employ over 500 staff on large projects.

The current volume of screen production in Australia presents enormous opportunities for our sector to develop a consistent pipeline of work by providing critical on-the-job training opportunities and experience to build a talent pool of the next generation of A-grade crew.

Priority Skills Areas

The focus of short-term and medium-term workforce capacity-building strategies will be on skills-gap areas in the fields of Line Producing, Unit Production Managers, Production Accountants, Location Managers, Art Directors, 1st ADs, Special Effects, Sound Design, Sound Effects, Hair & Makeup and Prosthetics as well as senior roles in VFX and Animation departments. By cooperating with State and Federal Screen Agencies to provide longer-term placements/attachments for emerging, early and mid-career crew to fast-track careers and by developing management skills for senior to HoD level crew.

Workforce Capacity Strategy   

Growing the capacity of the workforce is a significant undertaking requiring a coordinated approach from government, education and industry.

To begin this process, the working group will develop a national capacity-building framework for Below The Line (BTL) crew, which will be published and made available for industry, education and government to access by the end of 2022.

The framework will include recommendations identifying:

  • partnerships between industry and education;
  • what industry can do;
  • what government can do; and
  • what industry and government can do together.

Working Group Members

Ausfilm’s Workforce Capacity Working Group includes the following members:

Office for the Arts (Chair)
Screen Australia
AFTRS
Ausfilm

NIDA
Screen Canberra
Screen NSW
Screen Queensland
Screen Tasmania
Screen Territory
Screenwest

South Australian Film Corporation
VicScreen

Consultation process

The working group will be consulting with stakeholders from industry and education to identify key trends and themes relating to building workforce capacity of A-grade crew in Australia.

Informal consultations will involve interviews with individual stakeholders. Formal consultations will involve facilitated round tables with stakeholders including industry guilds, employers, heads-of-department, state and federal government agencies, broadcasters and streamers, education providers, First Nations organisations, diversity, equity and inclusion groups.

This is to ensure that the workforce capacity framework speaks to the needs of our diverse communities at different stages of their career to ensure the talent pipeline includes a deep talent pool across all levels of experience.

Timeline

The national working group commenced on December 4th, 2021 and will meet every two months for a period of 12 months and will include the following phases:

Phase 1: Environmental scan (Jan-Mar 2022)

Phase 2: Informal stakeholder consultation & Framework Development (Feb-June 2022)

Phase 3: Formal stakeholder Consultation, analysis and alignment of aims (July-Nov 2022)

Phase 4: Transition through initiative design (Sep-Dec 2022)

Phase 5: Framework for long-term initiatives (Nov 2022 -Feb 2023)

Logo of Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communication and the Arts. Image includes Australian coat of arms
Logo grid of all companies listed under Working Group Members title

Feature Image: Photo Credit Luke Torrevillas ecomlocations. Image including ten or more crew members of varied gender working collaboratively with camera and production equipment.