The UK film industry has a “pandemic lack of inclusion” according to a report released by The British Film Institute.
The report, compiled by the Work Foundation and backed by Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy and James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, found that the industry needs more diversity in order to prevent a skills shortage.
The report goes on to suggest that the UK needs 10,000 people over the next five years if it wants to maintain its status in world film production.
The research also found that women currently earn around £3,000 less than men on average, despite making up 40 per cent of the UK’s industry workforce.
The report comes as the BFI launch a £20 million recruitment drive in an attempt to plug the skills gap. The drive, led by Brocolli will call for accountants, hairdressers, carpenters, caterers and security guards, amongst others.
It is also hoped that the recruitment drive will help to ‘demystify’ the recruitment process and offer a way into the film industry. The drive will also provide careers advice for school-leavers, bursaries for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, an accreditation scheme, and additional qualifications for those looking to switch industries.
Broccoli said, “We live in a diverse society and it is vital both culturally and commercially that our industry reflects this in front of and behind the camera.”
Speaking about the report, Heather Carey, associate consultant at the Work Foundation, said, “Learners genuinely lack an awareness that there are opportunities for them in the screen industries.”
“We found, having looked at demand and supply, that the progression into work is not an easy one.”
“There is a culture of nepotism, the majority of employers recruit through word of mouth, and that creates real barriers for people who don’t know people.”
“Then there is real challenge of unpaid work experience, no wonder that acts as an obstacle, particularly for those without financial means.”
“Those obstacles are more pronounced for minority groups, but they face additional barriers.”
“Through our process of consultation we found examples of discrimination in the workplace.”
“When we try to get below the surface there are huge obstacles and those obstacles are creating a pandemic lack of inclusion in this industry.”