AFTRS launches talent and training survey

Australia’s national film, television and radio school (AFTRS) has launched a survey to uncover the training and talent development needs of the screen and broadcast industries.

The announcement:

AFTRS, Australia’s national film, television and radio school, will undertake a comprehensive industry survey to provide insight into the training and talent development needs of the screen and broadcast sectors.

In the context of a constantly changing media landscape, AFTRS Skills Survey 2016 will identify immediate priorities as well as signpost future needs and trends.

“As the screen and broadcast industries continue to be disrupted by new technologies and distribution platforms, it is essential that the skills and talent needed to adapt are identified  and addressed. AFTRS is well placed to conduct this research on behalf of the Australian industry. It is our intention to undertake this research every three years as the impact of new technologies continues to transform our industries,” said Neil Peplow, AFTRS CEO.

Mr Peplow said that the Skills Survey will build on the comprehensive research recently released by Metro Screen into the professional development needs of emerging practitioners.

AFTRS is issuing a call to employers, individuals, guilds, agencies and associations across film,TV, VFX, animation, radio, brand management and interactive to take part in this research.

AFTRS has set up an online survey that can be easily completed and will be followed up by focus groups and interviews.

The survey will go live today (23rd November 2015).

“AFTRS is asking the industry to tell us what skills and talent are needed both today, and in the future. This could range from a particular skills gap that needs addressing immediately, to a demand for talented creatives who understand emerging formats and platforms,” Mr Peplow said.

“As the impact of new technology affects the development of new forms, production processes and businesses, it is vital that AFTRS provides up-to-date and relevant training and education that reflects these changes. The School’s purpose is to deliver new talent into the industry and train the existing industry in the new skills it needs to adapt and innovate.”

Darren Dale, MD of Blackfella Films and AFTRS Deputy Chair, said: “The intention of this research is to ensure that what the School delivers is of the highest quality, feeds directly into industry requirements and identifies trends in skills and talent development needs. Once skills gaps are clearly identified, AFTRS can work to close these gaps through partnerships across the sector nationwide as well as through the dissemination of knowledge and research.”

Industry support for this approach is extensive.

Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia, said: “This research comes at a pertinent time for the screen industry. It’s an important and positive step in ensuring that we all best understand the skills that the new generation of content makers need to be equipped with for the sector they come in to. This is vital at a time of such a rapidly transforming landscape.”

Richard Finlayson, Director of ABC TV, said: “Developing the craft skills of our people is the number one challenge for the ABC in meeting the demands of digital transformation. ABC TV applauds AFTRS for taking this initiative, is delighted to be supporting it and will eagerly anticipate the outcomes as we shape our business for the future.”

Joan Warner, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia said: “The radio industry values our close and long standing working relationship with AFTRs and as the media industry continues to adapt to change, investing in highly skilled people will continue to be critical to thriving in the new environment.  This initiative will help identify skills gaps and ensure the sector is well-equipped for the future.”

Andrew Maiden, CEO of ASTRA (Australia Subscription Television & Radio Association) said: “Many students begin their screen careers working in subscription television, so we are especially keen to help AFTRS design a curriculum that equips students for their future careers.

Subscription television is transforming rapidly, so we’ll have much to contribute to this survey.”

Helen Bowden, Managing Director of Lingo Pictures and a lecturer at NYU’s Sydney campus, said: “The landscape is changing rapidly and our industry is highly fragmented with lots of people working in small companies. It can be challenging to foster talent and grow skills in that environment. Understanding what is needed and where, is critical is getting the most out of the great people already in the industry and in getting a diverse new lot of talent coming through. This study by the AFTRS is an excellent start.”

Mr Peplow said that the findings of the AFTRS Skills Survey 2016 will be published as early as possible in 2016.

Source: AFTRS press release


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