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Report – The Animation Skills Fund – Use it or Lose it

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 9:47pm by Vanisha Sumboo

New initiatives from the re-booted ScreenSkills Animation Skills Council will address animation skill shortages. Animation recruiters were invited to have their say on the priorities and approaches.

Takeaway:

  • How best to use the fund is open for discussion and the panel welcomed input and opinion on this.
  • While it can sometimes be tricky in deciding which initiatives to move forward with, working collaboratively and collectively as a whole is the key element to drive the animation industry forward and address the skills shortage.
  • A position is open for someone to chair the Animation Skills Fund and act as an ambassador who can help it move forward.

Detail:

In terms of skills shortages, this can vary from practice to practice. In Adam Jackson-Nocher’s experience, finding people who had both technical and drawing skills to meet the animation demands was a challenge. The fund has supported Lupus Films in being able to intensively train a group of university students from whom some were hired and progressed further. Adam also benefitted in having access to intensive training and is an example that the fund works.

Helen Piercy talked about the success of the Helen North Achieve Programme, a course implemented by the council for women at different stages of their career that provides training to progress further up the ladder as well as address issues and concerns they may have in working in the industry. The feedback has been extremely positive.

Working how to make best use of the fund and spend it can be a little complex as the fund has to cater for all aspects of animation. Animation studios, people working in animation and people studying animation are very well spread around the UK and the need to balance this equally as well as geographically makes it tricky in reaching out to everyone. It is also a case in understanding whether animation studios have problems finding people with the right technical animating skills for their project, or whether they can’t find good enough animators. In which case initiatives like a short term bootcamp or a longer training course are effective depending on the needs.

Sarah Tanner commented that they are “open for ideas and it is incredibly powerful for us to work together and reach out to the younger generation and inspire them”. Kate O’Connor emphasised that “No one organisation is responsible – we are all responsible and we need to be in this together to make it work”.

Tom Box, the Chair for Animation Skills Council stressed throughout the session that it is an open forum and that animation studios should work together to share initiatives. He understands that as everyone is different, the spreading of information and access to this is important. He wants to know the best ways people prefer to communicate and to get in touch with your ideas as to how the Animation Skills Fund can be used and he particularly wants to hear if you are (or know someone) who can help chair the Skills Fund.

Vanisha Sumboo

About the author

Vanisha Sumboo

Freelancer

Vanisha is a freelancer in children’s TV with experience in production and script. She is an avid storyteller and is currently creating her first children’s picture book series. Her interests include yoga, HIIT workouts, travelling and creative writing. It will be her first time attending CMC as a blogger. Read more

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