James Hickey - Irish Film Board

#Industry: New IFB and BAI report calls for new government policy for audiovisual sector

A strengthened national agency focusing on training and skills for the Irish film, television and animation industries is needed to provide the strategic foundation for skills development in the audiovisual sector, in order to drive growth. This is one of five key recommendations from a report published today by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) and Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB), outlining mechanisms to take advantage of the considerable future potential for job creation in the screen industries.

The report also recommended that a national comprehensive strategy should be developed by Government with the objective of growing the screen sector and maximising potential growth. The development of skills and talent across the film, television and animation sector must become a crucial component of Government policy across the departments of Communications, Culture, Education and Enterprise and Jobs. This is key to realising the potential growth and job creation opportunities that the screen industry can bring to Ireland.

The report was jointly commissioned by the BAI and the IFB to examine the current policy context in relation to the audiovisual industry and to develop a national strategy for the development of skills and talent of those working within the sector. The research for the report included extensive in-depth consultation with education and training providers, screen industry representatives and statutory bodies.

Recommendations outlined in the report highlight opportunities for improved coordination and stronger links between training and education providers and the audio-visual industry. The BAI and the IFB see this report as complementary to the work of Creative Ireland in that it promotes coordination, vision, and leadership with regard to skills development in the audio-visual industry.

Key recommendations outlined in the report are:

  • A national strategy for the audiovisual industry in Ireland to provide the strategic foundation for the ongoing development of policies and plans in respect of audio-visual sector skills.
  • A focused, well-resourced agency to drive skills and talent development
  • The development of baseline employment and course data
  • The alignment of quality course provision with industry needs
  • A cohesive approach to ensure a sustainable funding basis for skills and talent

From the work carried out in this report, in the short term there is a clear necessity for Screen Training Ireland to be properly resourced and strengthened in order to future proof the training needs of the screen industries across film, TV, and animation. Looking at the bigger picture, the sector offers huge potential for growth and job creation provided that the necessary skills needs are met within the industry. We would urge Government to work closely with both the IFB, the BAI, the third level institutions and all those with a stake in the screen industries to determine a national focus and framework to provide the necessary training to achieve this future potential growth. James Hickey, Chief Executive – Irish Film Board

The Irish screen content production sector is highly active and recent years, in particular, have seen Irish productions achieve an outstanding level of success, both domestically and on the international stage. We consider it very important that the audiovisual industry receives the required support in skills development and that this is underpinned by a policy framework that ensures the sustainability and growth of this sector. This report carefully examines the current context for screen production in Ireland, and the BAI is looking forward to working in collaboration and partnership with the IFB on the implementation of the most salient recommendations for our agencies. We also look forward to engaging with the relevant Departments in relation to the strategic observations and recommendations made. Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive – Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

The report is available to download from here.

Details of Recommendations

Priority 1: A National Strategy for the Audiovisual Sector


 A National Strategy for the Audiovisual industry in Ireland should be developed as soon as possible and should provide the strategic foundation for ongoing development of policies and plans in respect of audio-visual sector skills


Priority 2: A Focussed, Well-Resourced Agency to Drive Skills and Talent Development


 The role, responsibilities, and resourcing of Screen Training Ireland (STI) should be strengthened with a view to providing energy and coordination for audio-visual skills development and training in Ireland.  


Priority 3: the Development of Baseline Employment and Course Data


A detailed census should be undertaken across the industry, similar to the work undertaken by Creative Skillset for the creative industries in the UK

The courses most relevant to the audiovisual sector should be identified

There is a clear need for a detailed census to be undertaken covering the relevant courses

Models of good practice within the training sector should continue to be supported and should be considered for expansion in scope and capacity


Priority 4: The Alignment of Quality Course Provision with Industry Needs


Improved coordination should be formalised between providers, both in the education sector and in training provision

Development and continuation of much stronger links between training and education providers and the audio-visual industry

Development of third-level courses should be in line with national and regional strategic priorities for the screen industry, for higher education and for skills development


Priority 5: To Ensure a Sustainable Funding Basis for Skills and Talent


A more cohesive approach is required which ties in with national strategies for the screen industry, for higher education and for skills development

There is a need for a rationalisation of provision (and associated funding) within the HE/FE sector

The overall quantum of future funding requirements should be determined

A training fund should be established, using an industry levy approach 

  • The report in respect of the development of skills in the audiovisual sector was compiled by accountancy and advisory firm Crowe Horwath on behalf of the BAI and IFB.