Head of Marketing and Communications, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland
Head of Television, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland
It’s no secret that the Irish screen industry is riding high with a record number of Oscar nominations this year for films such as An Cailín Ciúin and The Banshees of Inisherin.
The sector has doubled in size in the past decade and is estimated to be worth over €692 million, comprising 11,960 jobs by way of direct, indirect and induced employment across the economy.
With that has come a wealth of career and job opportunities across a huge range of roles within the screen industries. Fís/Eireann/Screen Ireland, the development agency for the Irish film, television and animation industry, is leading the way to bridge the skills gap fuelled by that rapid growth.
Accessible film industry training pathways
Andrew Byrne, Head of Television, says: “It’s about continuing that trajectory of opportunity around traditional storytelling while looking at new avenues, for example, within animation and documentary as an opportunity for the future.”
Louise Ryan, Head of Marketing and Communications, says: “Ensuring we have a wide range of skills opportunities is key to supporting local filmmakers producing Irish stories on screen, while ensuring that we have a wide crew base to supply international film, television and animation projects coming to Ireland. The evolution of the industry’s array of new skills, taking into account VFX and gaming, means we have to take a 360 approach in terms of training opportunity access.”
We are working closely with the gaming industry,
which is fast becoming a significant area in terms
of development and investment for Ireland.
Collaboration to drive growth
The agency works closely with industry guilds representatives, including crew, writers, directors and producers, to provide an analysis of the skills gaps. Ryan says: “We have worked collaboratively with both industry and third-level institutions to meet priority skills needs, and this has produced positive results.”
Screen Ireland now has TU Dublin accreditations for both its Advanced Producing and Passport to Production courses. They also collaborated with University College Cork (UCC) on the prestigious Puttnam Scholars initiative and a first-of-its-kind Neurodiversity in the Screen Industry programme.
Last year, Screen Ireland also launched five National Talent Academies established across the country, aiming to find emerging and diverse talent to enter the industry.
Structured learning at work
The skills requirement around the Section 481 tax credit also means every project with a budget over €2 million has to submit a skills development plan. It ensures starters, trainees and established employees have structured work-based learning on production.
Byrne concludes: “Innovation is key to us. We have set up a fund to continuously support that, and we are working closely with the gaming industry, which is fast becoming a significant area in terms of development and investment for Ireland.”