WHAT'S NEW - First Option works with ScreenSkills To Create Covid-19 Training For Productions

First Option works with ScreenSkills To Create Covid-19 Training For Productions

by Vandana Thanki

First Option have partnered with Screenskills to create a new COVID-19 training course to help film and television productions return safely back to work.

The industry saw at least £426 million worth of productions postponed or suspended when the government announced social distancing and lockdown measurements. 

ScreenSkills has partnered with WDT and First Option. The project is being supported by ScreenSkills TV Skills Fund as well as established television productions, BFI and awarding National Lottery fund as part of its Future Film Skills strategy.

Crew members will receive basic training on health and safety and how to operate during the pandemic before they return to work. ScreenSkills is also looking into developing additional detailed training for senior management roles to ensure productions are operating within industry-designed and government guidance.

The basic training will be delivered as an online course and will be free to access. ScreenSkills is looking into devising a model where delegates will be able to show their productions that they have successfully completed the training. The training will be tailored to equip crew members with the knowledge they need to keep themselves, colleagues and the environment safe.

ScreenSkills Chief Executive, Seetha Kumar said, "As the leader in skills and training for the UK’s screen industries, we are already working closely with colleagues to support the return to production by identifying standards and delivering training to reflect all the new challenges Covid-19 has created. Ensuring crew can work as safely as possible is the overriding aim of the industry, and we believe the new guidance, backed up by the training, can enable that. We will work swiftly to support the industry in what it needs to know and do to get back to work while operating safely in the new environment. Workers worried about their livelihoods and wellbeing should know we have their back. The numbers of people and equipment and the often close physical contact involved in making film and television means we must all work together to make sure any risks are managed and minimised.” 

Paul Greeves, Managing Director of First Option, said: “We’re delighted to be working with ScreenSkills and the other partners to develop this much needed training to enable the production sector to get back to work.  Working safely under the threat of this disease will require new thinking and new ways of working across all aspects of the production process and everyone involved will need the right information and knowledge to play their part in that.” 

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