Screen Skills Ireland (SSI) hosted the second annual Screen Industry Education Forum on 5 November, bringing together around 200 industry stakeholders, education providers & policy influencers to discuss skills development challenges and opportunities for the screen sectors in Ireland.
A podcast recorded at the event and a gallery of photos from the day can be found below.
The event began with the launch of SSI’s new five year Action Plan for upskilling Ireland’s screen industry. The 10-point plan outlines the initiatives that SSI will put in place to support the development of skills in the industry, and how SSI will work collaboratively with stakeholders to respond to the changing needs of the sector. Copies of the Action Plan were made available to all participants and it can be viewed on our website here.
The first panel of the day was Identifying Skills Needs on Production and Capturing Outcomes and Impact of Skills Activity with Gemma O’Shaughnessy (Production Manager), Jane Leonard (Really Useful Training & Development), Emer MacAvin (Screen Skills Ireland), Eoin Holohan (Locations Manager), Gerard O’Keeffe (Camera Trainee), and Kaye Elliott (Screen Skills UK). This panel emphasised the importance of identifying skills needs at an early stage of production as well as the value of evaluating skills development both to reflect on progress and to highlight residual skills gaps. During this panel, SSI announced an intention to develop a competency framework for the sector, to support industry professionals identify the key skills development needs to facilitate career advancement.
The second panel, Education Collaborations with Industry in Practice, featured Rónán Ó’Muirthile (National Film School at IADT), Richard Gavin (LIT), Celine Curtin (GMIT), Fran Keaveney (Screen Skills Ireland), Dr. Caroline O’Sullivan (TU Dublin), and Lorcan Dunne (Dundalk IT). A key theme of this panel was how vital collaboration is for developing talent in the industry. The panel noted an issue around falling numbers of students applying for film and creative courses, suggesting that more should be done to promote the variety and sustainability of careers in the screen industries.
Panel three focused on Current Skills Development Landscape in Ireland and Influencing Skills Development Policy/Funding and the panel was made up of Joan McNaboe (SOLAS/SLMRU), Claire McGee (Ibec), Alan Power (Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation/EGFSN), Natasha Kinsella (Dublin Regional Skills Forum), Gareth Lee (Screen Skills Ireland), and Orla Clancy (Creative Europe Desk Ireland). There was discussion about the importance of understanding the skills development landscape as a whole: not just higher education, but also further education, upskilling, and work-based learning.
The final panel of the day was Effective Skills Development Models for Industry with Jesse Cleverly (Wildseed Studios), Laurence Knell (Strategic Innovation Partners), Paul Walker (Showrunner), Andrew Schlussel (Director of Global Talent Development at Framestore), Lisa Mulcahy (Director), and Jenny Oman (Set Decorator). This panel raised the interesting topic of striking a balance between being a creative industry and a service industry and ensuring that there are skills development opportunities for the range of roles in the sector: creatives and crew. One model suggested was encouraging mentoring relationships in the industry, which Screen Skills Ireland is seeking to advance with its upcoming structured Mentor Funding Scheme.
The day ended with roundtable discussions about skills needs for the sector, possible models and supports, and collaboration for a world-class sector. These discussions were facilitated and captured by Screen Skills Ireland staff, and will be shared more widely at a later date.
Listen to a Podcast from the event here:
For some photos of the day see the gallery below: