Creative Skillset is launching a Series Producer Programme aimed at the next generation of Producers and Series Producers. It will offer training, including mentoring by commissioners, work placements with broadcasters and one-to-one support delivered by leading TV professionals.
The programme is open to new or aspiring Series Producers with a minimum of three years’ experience at producer level who are seeking to take the next step in their careers. Delegates will be selected in January and the programme will commence in February.
The Series Producer Programme is funded by the Creative Skillset TV Skills Fund which is funded by the BBC Academy, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
The course will be run by Donna Taberer, the former Head of the BBC’s College of Production and Head of Public Services Partnerships at the BBC Academy. Donna is a former Series Producer and has led and delivered many industry-wide training initiatives.
Also delivering the programme is Beejal-Maya Patel, a Series Producer who has worked on programmes such as The Family and Educating Essex.
Donna Taberer said: “The Series Producer (SP) is the most critical person on the show. An SP can make the difference between a programme being a hit or a miss. But it’s also the most difficult role. It’s the biggest leap from Producer Director (PD) to SP. This programme will give delegates the skills, knowledge and networks to step up to that role with confidence. We hope this programme will develop and support the showrunners of the future who will win and set up new businesses.”
Seetha Kumar, Chief Executive of Creative Skillset added: “This is an important programme responding to a real industry skills need. In March, our report, The Full Picture, identified the need to bridge the gap between Producer and Series Producer through support and mentoring. It also flagged the need for real work opportunities, to supplement basic skills with confidence, familiarity and practice”.
These recommendations were supported by Creative Skillset’s TV Skills Council whose remit includes identifying solutions to address skill needs. This point is also highlighted in today’s BBC report, Building A Stronger Broadcast Media Beyond London. Both reports flagged the critical shortage of Series Producers.
Cat Lewis, CEO & Executive Producer at the successful independent production company Nine Lives Media and Chair of Creative Skillset’s Northern Skills Council said: “I have twice sent staff on similar programmes and they really are excellent. They benefited enormously and grew in confidence as a result. Their skills improved and they brought some new methods back into the office to everyone’s benefit.”