As the UK begins to gear up for a return to film and TV production, training is being fast-tracked to allow crew members to return safely to set.
UK body ScreenSkills is steering the coronavirus safety training initiative, which it says will be rolled out “within weeks.” It is partnering with Skills for Health, a nonprofit organization that is already working with the country’s National Health Service on delivering COVID-19 training, as well as First Option, the established safety consultants to the entertainment industry.
The goal is to ensure everyone returning to work on a production has access to basic health and safety understanding of filming in the post-pandemic world, with training delivered online for free. More in-depth training is also being developed for those with departmental or management responsibility.
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The org said that some $520 million worth of production had shut down in the UK since the lockdown.
The work is being supported by the ScreenSkills High-end TV Skills Fund with contributions from high-end television productions and the British Film Institute.
Last week, the UK government gave the green light to film and TV production, theoretically allowing shoots to resume. There are still numerous hurdles to overcome, however, including insurance, and in particular how to implement health and safety protocols related to COVID-19.
Seetha Kumar, ScreenSkills’ chief executive, 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.”