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Lights, camera, action
Scotland's Skills Minister Angela Constance visited fictional soap town Shieldinch on the River City set yesterday to launch a new TV production skills project to further boost the £5.2 billion creative industries sector.
Skills Development Scotland (SDS), BBC Scotland, media and entertainment trade union BECTU and Skillset have come together to support budding TV producers to receive the skills and experience needed to succeed in Scotland's creative industry.
The two-year partnership project will inject more than £500,000 into the industry - which currently employs more than 60,000 people - and will provide Scots producers with the opportunity to build on their existing knowledge and gain crucial additional skills and experience to help them become industry leaders of the future.
Ms Constance said:
"The creative industries is one of the Scottish Government's priority sectors due to its economic potential. It's current worth is more than £5 billion and the opportunity for growth is vast. Creative Scotland's ambition for the sector is to increase turnover by more than £100 million and create more than 1500 new jobs during the next three years.
"That is why it is absolutely right that the Scottish Government, alongside the BBC, unions and the Sector Skills Council, Skillset, continues to invest in this industry and reap its full economic potential.
"River City has been the perfect showcase for this announcement. The talent behind and in front of the camera shows why we must harness our homegrown talent and ensure Scotland is a place of opportunity for creative leaders."
Skills Development Scotland Creative Industries manager Alasdair Smith said:
"The long standing issue has been how to develop better creative leadership so that Scotland can deliver more major television drama series. SDS and its partners are committed to supporting pioneering projects which contribute to the development of this important industry."
Research has shown that using a Scottish producer almost doubles the chance of using a Scottish Head of Department on a scripted project.
This project will allow those taking part to develop industry connections at the highest level so that they will be better placed in future to spearhead network productions. They'll gain the skills and experience to produce network drama and to provide a framework to inspire, create and nurture the drama production teams of the future.
Participating producers and script editors will work on a number of drama productions including BBC Scotland's River City, Ruby Films' Case Histories and KoCo's new production Young James, though other broadcasters and independent producers will hopefully offer placements in future.
Acting Scotland Director of Skillset Henry Eagles said:
"There have always been talented crews in Scotland and we have the facilities to make high quality drama. However, there has been a trend for network drama productions shooting in Scotland to bring senior creative personnel from London.
"We have invested in a number of talented trainees to accelerate their learning in script and production. We want to ensure that high quality drama continues to be produced in Scotland, by Scottish based creative talent."