A new skills training programme to support creatives looking to break into behind-the-camera roles on scripted film and high-end TV productions made in the West of England will launch later this month.
It comes after Bristol City Council’s Film Services have secured almost £300,000 (£299,818) from the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority, led by Metro Mayor Dan Norris, to deliver an industry-led West of England Film & High-End TV Workforce Development Programme to help creatives make their impact and find new career opportunities.
Delivered by The Bottle Yard Studios, Bristol UNESCO City of Film and Bristol Film Office – the three departments that make up Bristol City Council’s Film Services – the year-long programme will be open to regional participants from backgrounds currently underrepresented in the industry. Tailored training will demystify the world of scripted production and prepare trainees for entry level crew positions, with the aim of strengthening the pipeline of diverse local crew talent.
The investment comes at an important time of continued growth in the West of England’s film and high-end TV sector, with an estimated 21,000 new crew forecast to be needed across the UK by 2025.*
Metro Mayor Dan Norris, who leads the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority, said: “The West of England is fast becoming the Hollywood of the UK. Only recently, huge names like Disney+ have checked in to The Bottle Yard Studios’ new state-of-the-art and West of England Mayoral Authority-funded TBY2 facility – that’s a massive vote of confidence in our world-leading creative industries. But to keep up the pace, we need to tap into the extraordinary wealth of creative talent we have in the West. That means supporting them with world-class training to create that new home-grown creative generation for the sector.
“That’s why I’m delighted to be launching this programme fully funded by the Mayoral Combined Authority I lead, to give West of England residents the opportunities they need to thrive in film and high-end TV – something the West does so well. It gives a platform to the next generation of talent who will shape our region’s bright creative future. So, to those considering a career in film and TV: I want to hear from you!”
Councillor Craig Cheney, Deputy Mayor of Bristol with responsibility for City Economy Finance & Performance said: “It’s brilliant to see Bristol’s thriving film and TV sector in the spotlight once again and we are delighted to secure funding to further support this vital industry, as well as the talented people who bring Bristol’s creative sectors to life.
“Bristol remains a world-leading hub for film and TV production, with some the industry’s biggest names choosing our city to produce their shows. Bristol’s new state-of-the-art film studio, The Bottle Yard’s TBY2 facility, has already played host to some of the UK’s most exciting productions since opening its doors in 2022 supported by £12 million in funding. However, as the sector continues to go from strength to strength, more targeted investment into training and developing the next generation of homegrown production talent is becoming increasingly necessary. This industry-led development programme will tap into the deep pool of creative talent here in the West Country and open new career pathways to underrepresented groups who may never have had the opportunity to take their first steps into this fast-growing sector.”
Laura Aviles, Head of Film, Bristol City Council says: “We’ve long made the case that targeted skills investment for scripted crew in our region is essential if we’re to develop this often-overlooked segment of the screen workforce. Film and high-end TV production levels in Bristol and the West have been increasing steadily in past years, supported by The Bottle Yard’s expansion and the region’s Film Offices facilitating more productions on location. With this success comes the opportunity to grow our local talent base – which is crucial when the existing crew base hits capacity, something we anticipate as we move on from last year’s US writers and actors strikes. We are delighted to have secured this funding to deliver a programme designed to help local entrants understand and navigate the fast-paced world of production they are not yet familiar with, to support them in identifying the right opportunities and having the confidence to step into industry roles that suit their talents and ambitions.”
Natalie Moore, Bristol UNESCO City of Film Manager, says: “Developing a local skills pipeline for scripted crew is a key priority in our Bristol UNESCO City of Film Action Plan. Opening up opportunities for regional talent from a wide range of backgrounds makes for a more sustainable and resilient industry base. With so many career opportunities that can and should be made available to people living within the region, we want to make access routes into the film and TV industry easier to navigate and provide support to build a more diverse local workforce. This programme will create a clear pathway to help underrepresented talent from Bristol and the West into scripted production careers, demystifying the industry and preparing them for employment with the right level of support and guidance.”
The programme, which is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, will feature a series of sessions repeated for three intakes throughout 2024, including a ‘Get to Know the Industry’ webinar, an Industry Induction Day at The Bottle Yard Studios, and a specially designed 5-week training scheme to equip potential new entrants for a career in film and high-end TV production. Training will focus on confidence-building, set etiquette and work-readiness, communication skills and teamwork, wellbeing and resilience, as well as digital and financial literacy and how to find work as a freelancer.
The programme will aim to engage up to 750 people in total across its different strands of activity, with a view to 45 undertaking the 5-week training course that will equip them to go on to get jobs. Those who complete the full training will be added to a New Entrants Portfolio given to film and high-end TV productions filming in the region.
The programme will also launch a digital New Entrants Hub, designed to signpost anyone in the West of England interested in a career in film or high-end TV to useful resources, training and development opportunities that are relevant to the region.
Applications will be invited from residents of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, and South Gloucestershire aged 17 and above**. Underrepresented target groups will include young people aged 17-25**, those not in education, employment or training, under-employed people and those on zero-hour contracts, women, people from the global majority, disabled people, people living with mental health issues, carers and care leavers. An Access Fund will be provided to support any participants who face a financial barrier to taking part.
The West of England Film & High-End TV Workforce Development Programme has been devised following recommendations of the BFI Skills Review (June 2022) and Olsberg’s Workforce Development Report commissioned by Bristol City Council and The Bottle Yard Studios (July 2023). The first call for applications will open in January 2024.
The West of England Mayoral Combined Authority is working in partnership with Bristol City Council’s Film Services (comprising The Bottle Yard Studios, Bristol UNESCO City of Film and Bristol Film Office) to deliver the Mayoral Priority Skills Fund. This fund provides flexible grants to meet current priority skills gaps in the region. This project is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
Upcoming productions recently filmed in Bristol and the West of England include Jilly Cooper adaptation Rivals (Disney+), series three of spy thriller Alex Rider (Amazon FreeVee), series three of Stephen Merchant’s The Outlaws (BBC/Amazon Prime Video), comedy drama Boarders (BBC Three), teen crime thriller A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (BBC Three) and series five of children’s drama Malory Towers (CBBC). Titles currently in production in the region include Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light (BBC/Masterpiece PBS) and romantic comedy The Road Trip (Paramount+).
B2B and corporate PR and communications specialists, AMBITIOUS is closing 2023 by celebrating two new strategic hires and seven new business wins to round off a year of solid growth for the firm.
With the agency expanding to 27 staff and on track to meet its £1.65 million revenue target, AMBITIOUS has secured its position as one of the largest independent PR agencies in Bristol and the Southwest.
Sarah Woodhouse, Director, AMBITIOUS, said: ‘This year we’ve seen the same challenges as other agencies with a lag between briefs being awarded and work then starting but we’ve had a strong new business pipeline. The ink has dried on seven new contracts in the last quarter of this year alone and together with strong client retention, puts us in a strong position for 2024.”
Based on Oakfield Road in Clifton, the agency has grown from strength to strength with new retained clientsincluding Tunstall Healthcare Group, GlobalGiving UK, Harley Row Clinic, and a short project with UCAS.
Further growth also came from the agency’s existing client base expanding their remit.
Sarah Woodhouse explains, “CEOs are striving to build trust signals with customers and prospects, driving up the need for third-party endorsement. We’re seeing growth from organisations that want to build understanding and earn these trust signals from a range of audiences – and we have a key role in driving these strategic communications. We’ve also seen uptake for our work supporting companies to integrate their marketing and PR efforts.”
AMBITIOUS has made two key hires since September, in addition to four hires made earlier this year. Maria Dickson joins as Marketing Director, a newly created role signalling the agency’s commitment to more integrated campaign activations. She’ll also be leading the agency’s marketing strategy as it looks to expand. Chloe Tonkin also joins as a senior PR consultant and copywriter to support the firm’s growth.
With over 12 years of experience working in award-winning communications agencies and most recently leading all national marketing and social media for Girlguiding, Maria Dickson is a seasoned marketer. Having led UK and global agency teams across consumer, pharma and not-for-profit sectors she has extensive experience in developing and implementing integrated strategies. Her career includes roles at Pegasus (now Evoke Mind + Matter) and Edelman, working with clients such as GSK, Bayer and EIT Health. For the last four years, she led all marketing and campaigns at Girlguiding, including a new brand rollout – the largest in the organisation’s 113 year history.
Chloe Tonkin has over ten years working agency-side across B2C and B2B-focused sectors, in both the UK and New Zealand. Her experience spans technology, FMCG, healthcare, and beyond. She’s worked on campaigns for big-name clients including Samsung, American Express, HSBC, Specsavers, and Unilever. Her primary area of expertise is in traditional earned PR and media relations, but she also has extensive experience in running influencer programmes for clients like Samsung and Dove.
Lis Anderson, Founder & Director, AMBITIOUS, said: “We’re excited to grow our team again this year and welcome Maria and Chloe into the fold. They each bring a wealth of experience to complement our existing team, ensuring that we can deliver the best possible service to clients as we look ahead to 2024.”
“Ensuring we have a happy and healthy team is of utmost importance to us. We’re proud of our growing team and a record of 3.5 years with no staff attrition – a testament to our team culture. We’re excited about the year ahead.”
Interested in working for or with AMBITIOUS? Please email Sarah or Lis at [email protected]
On 24 November, we celebrated the first group of interns who took part in the Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme with Babbasa as part of the OurCity2030 Pathway into Creative & Tech.
We had a wonderful night celebrating everyone’s achievements over the past six months. The graduation event, at the Gather Round co-working space in Bristol, brought together the brilliant interns plus many of the programme contributors, friends and family to reflect on the successes and learnings from the scheme.
We launched the programme earlier this year. It is aimed at young people aged 18-24 from diverse backgrounds wanting to gain more insight and real experience in the creative industries.
Two of the biggest challenges facing the sector are a long-term skills shortage and a lack of workforce diversity. This was highlighted by Bristol Creative Industries’ A Creative Force to Be Reckoned With report which found that increasing diversity and inclusion is a significant priority for six in 10 creative firms in Bristol, but almost half said they want help finding diverse talent from underrepresented groups.
The internship programme was designed specifically to tackle those issues and create more inclusive workplaces. We were delighted that brilliant agencies from the BCI member community stepped up to provide three month placements to the 14 interns:
At the end of the first placement, three of the interns used the experience to explore other projects, while 11 stayed to undertake a second placement.
As the pilot programme comes to an end, here’s an update on how taking part in the initiative impacted on the interns and what they plan to do next:
Abdifatah Kheyre is going travelling for a while but has some exciting plans to launch a new project with a friend.
Abdur-Rahman Shafi has been offered a continuation at his first placement at Noble where he will be doing an internship extension, with the view for being promotion to digital marketing executive after six months.
Ahmed Ismail is considering his options in design and software development.
Amy Smith has been offered a role as production runner at Aardman on an upcoming project.
Kayjay McDonald-Ferguson is looking to continue with his freelancing projects in design and strategy and is set to start a bootcamp coding course.
Laurel Beckford has been working with Babbasa on the organisation’s social media campaigns and is looking for further work in film production and social media.
Mohd Wani has gone on to study an MA in information experience design at The Royal College of Art.
Omar Ibrahim has started a front-end web development bootcamp and will continue to study whilst trying to get more work experience. He is looking for a junior level role in front-end web development.
Priscilla Kodjo is staying on at her placement at Time Machine Designs as a freelance concept artist.
Sara Matloob has applied to study with the Chartered Institute of Marketing and hopes to build a career focused on public relations and the experiential sector.
Sophie Kirk is continuing to pursue her career in film and television art departments, with her improved graphic design skills opening up more opportunities for freelance work.
Seren Spooner was offered a job as a junior designer at Armadillo, her first placement.
Touka Mostafa led an EDI audit at one of her placements and delivered her findings to the board. She has recently accepted an account executive role at Armadillo, one of the participating agencies.
Yasmina El Khatib hopes to continue her education and study a modelmaking course with a focus on fabrication. For now, she is looking for a design and creative role to allow her to save for her masters.
We asked some of the interns to reflect on taking part in the programme.
”The programme helped me find myself, be a better human and chase my dreams.”
“This internship really has made my dream career happen. The continued support throughout has been great. I have also made some friends that I will have for life.”
”I took many learnings from the experience, but above all I learnt the importance of being an active learner. In a work setting it is important that you can communicate with the different departments and not be afraid to ask for what you want. In both agencies I felt comfortable to be myself and felt listened to. I like that the internship was tailored to what I needed.”
”Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always a straight path, and I was never comfortable to put my hand up and say I want to learn more. But I have to say, I’m so glad I sat in the uncomfortable space for a little bit because I pushed past that point, I managed to develop and grow in so many different ways. ”
”I loved seeing how many agencies were interested in diversity and inclusion and I really enjoyed the networking opportunities that came with the internship programme. I also enjoyed learning new skills during our Friday sessions and watching all of the interns develop new skills that they’re proud of.”
For more from the interns, participating agencies and other who took part in the programme, watch this brilliant short film:
The Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme is not possible without the fantastic agencies who take part and provide placements for the young people to gain valuable experience.
Here, some of the agencies reflect on their experiences:
“The best businesses need the best talent. The best talent is diverse. This programme has helped us collectively engage that talent.”
Nina Edmunds, Halo
“We’ve always aspired to have an internship programme that promotes diversity and inclusion and encourages the community to open more doors, yet time and resources have been a barrier to achieving this. By joining forces with Bristol Creative Industries, Babbasa and other member agencies, we were able to make it happen.”
Lucy Rees, Newicon
“Collaborating with peers from other participating creative agencies has been a great experience. It has allowed us to actively contribute to shaping the program while exchanging ideas and learning from one another, particularly in areas around HR, people & culture, and innovative working practices.”
Anthony Butterfield, Aer Studios
“We wanted to be challenged in our DE&I efforts. We hoped this scheme would help us push forward on our learning and DE&I journey and it has done exactly that.”
Abigail Croft, Diva
“Our intern was really keen to learn all the different roles within the agency and really engaged in everything she was doing. Seeing her confidence grow each week, so she was asking the right questions to allow her to execute the task in front of her was a real highlight. The fact we could see the talent was there enough to offer her a job shows what an impact she made, and that is the true highlight.”
Jeremy Bourton, Armadillo
“This amazing opportunity provides a springboard for young people with a paid placement that can really make a difference to their professional development. On the other side of the coin, it’s made me a more rounded professional and helped me to evolve.”
Matt Woodman, Atomic Smash
“The BCI Internship Programme is a golden opportunity to partner with community-facing organisations. It is a real opportunity to learn as well as teach, whilst being supporting by BCI who follow the interns through the whole process.”
Ceilia Hunt, Aardman Animations
All of the interns are now Bristol Creative Industries members. Please do reach out to them if you are looking for collaborations or for young people to fill junior roles. We will also be welcoming them to Bristol Creative Industries events in 2024, so you will get a chance to meet them.
We look forward to welcoming back the cohort as ambassadors for the programme in 2024 and to help inspire the next group of interns.
Conversations for the 2024 Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme have begun with Babbasa as part of the next OurCity2030 Pathway into Creative & Tech.
If you run a creative business in Bristol and are interested in hearing more about how to get involved, contact Bristol Creative Industries membership manager Alli Nicholas on [email protected]
Big thanks to @eljaybriss for the images.
The teams across mustard jobs are planning to rustle up as many long-life food, hygiene and sanitary products as possible. Last year’s foodbank donation was impressive, but this year we want to make it even bigger, that’s why we are enlisting the help of our local community.
We’re making this donation as easy as possible for anyone who is interested in taking part. Just pop to the mustard jobs office with your donations, we’ll list the address details at the bottom of this page. Then, we’ll put it in one of our collection box for safe keeping, until we do the big drop off at the foodbank. We’ll get everything delivered to the foodbank by our mustard team, so there is no stress for you or your team.
Whether you’ve got a little or a lot, anything will help.
We have a great relationship with the St Nicholas of Tolentino Foodbank and they’ve let us know what they need the most.
It’s time to step up and support those who find themselves in crisis this winter. If you’d like to donate, please deliver your donations to:
The Tramshed, 25 Lower Park Row,
If you have any questions or queries, feel free to reach out to the team on [email protected] | 0117 929 6060
Moonraker VFX, a Bristol-based Visual Effects Studio, took part in the RTS Futures Festival yesterday, offering valuable insights, advice and information to aspiring individuals seeking a career in the television industry.
The free event took place at M Shed on Bristol’s Harbourside and drew over 400 young attendees, where a range of the city’s media organisations were on hand to give careers advice.
Hosted by the Royal Television Society, the RTS Futures Festival provided a platform for industry professionals to connect with graduates and students, guiding them through the complexities of the modern broadcasting landscape.
Moonraker—known for its groundbreaking work in Natural History programming including the BBC’s recent Earth series—engaged with attendees, sharing knowledge and experiences to inspire the next generation of talent.
Simon Clarke, Creative Director at Moonraker, commented, “Participating in the RTS Futures Festival was a fantastic opportunity for us to connect with the bright minds set to become future leaders of the television industry in the decades to come. Moonraker’s presence at the event underscores the studio’s commitment to fostering talent and contributing to the growth of the sector.”
RTS Futures aims to help graduates and those in the early stages of their career to progress and learn about different areas of television. It has an ongoing calendar of events, learn more: https://rts.org.uk/rts-futures
Recent research from the CMI Good Management Report states that 52% of managers do not hold any management qualifications and 82% of managers who enter leadership roles have not had any formal training. As such they become ‘accidental manager’s’. We know that ineffective managers have a deep impact on employees including motivation loss, below par satisfaction, and more probability of staff wanting to leave their role.
*NEW for 2024 is Weston College’s new funded training programme, ‘Step up to Lead’ which is suitable for any team members and businesses that may be looking to or are on route to progress leadership/team manager roles. Weston College will be delivering funded training to business in Bristol. Starting on 19th February 2024, funded places are available to low earners wanting to access and ILM certificate.
The training will challenge these statistics and implement a pipeline of trained, talented managers into your organisation. It is underpinned by the Leadership and Management diploma but has been condensed to a 6-month certificate programme to respond to business need for shorter training options that yield effective results.
If you are keen to explore any of the above further, please reach out to start your next generation of leaders on the right track.
Join Weston College in the heart of Bristol to learn more about supporting the next generation of creatives! Are you looking at offering work placements? Internships?
Looking to grow your team?
Give back to a new generation through guest lecture and project work?
Want to find out more about Weston College? We may surprise you….
The Faculty of Creative Arts Employer Forum is designed to work alongside industry to deliver industry aligned curriculum, work experiences, progression and employment routes and pipeline talent. Courses covered at Weston College and University Centre Weston include:
Game & Animation
Creative and Digital Media
Broadcast, Journalism and Podcasts
Performing Arts and Theatre
Art and Design – including fashion, textiles and business
Tuesday 7th November
Bristol Training Institute, 12 Colston Avenue, BS1 4ST
RSVP [email protected]
Over the last year, mustard jobs have seen a surge in activity within the events industry across the UK. With Brexit, Covid and the Cost of Living Crisis significantly affecting the rate of movement within the industry in recent times. We’re breaking down the current trends, salary expectations, candidate availability and industry growth of the events sector.
At the beginning of the year we saw various external factors make candidates more hesitant about moving roles. Even though the cost of living remains high, the UK hasn’t plunged into a recession yet so candidates are maneuvering in the market again.
The events industry is booming across the UK, and Brand Experience within London remains a particularly busy sector for the mustard team for permanent and contract roles.
Covid-19 has become a memory of the past and as a result the Tradeshow Exhibition industry is back and better than ever. Virtual Broadcast has maintained popularity within the corporate space as streaming functionality is more accessible than ever. This has provided continued success for global brands looking to improve sustainability, reducing flights and event waste.
Whilst London still remains the hub of the event sector, other areas such as Manchester, Leeds and Bristol are seeing sharp growth, fueled by increased flexibility to work from home post pandemic. As a result, we’re seeing top talent move away from London.
Firstly, Sustainability. Eco washing has become a prevalent issue across the industry, with brands implying sustainability rather than working on making real positive change. As more candidates in the industry are looking to work within an actively sustainable organisation, being certified as B-Corp or part of an industry specific sustainability group such as Isla, will ignite candidate attraction.
Next up, Flexibility. As a lot of employees within the sector devote their weekends and evenings to meet the demand of the job, working the ‘allotted’ 9-5 are becoming increasingly difficult to adhere to whilst maintaining a work-life balance. As a result, there is increased pressure on employers to offer flexible hours to align with this.
The digital age has taken events to the next level. Consequently, employers are looking for event professionals with a mix of digital skills, the more digital integration the better. AR and VR offer interactivity that will engage audiences across the entire industry and showcasing any digital skills will give your CV the edge. This could include anything from working on virtual events, website registrations, video content, motion graphics, graphic design, animation and 360 photography.
Salaries have gone up drastically when comparing the mustard XP salary guide from 2021 to 2023. As an example, a Mid-weight 2D Designer working in London in 2021 would be earning around £28,000 – £36,000 but in 2023 they’re more likely £40,000 – £50,000.
This could be because a lot of candidates left industry during the Covid-19 lockdown period for job security elsewhere so there is smaller pool of candidates, as a result employers are battling for the top candidates, offering higher salaries to entice them into their role. As the industry has bounced back in full force the demand for skilled candidates has increased.
“The Experiential, Events and Exhibitions industries have fluctuated dramatically within my five years as a recruiter in this space. We’ve seen various highs and lows across the industry over the last few years, but now is such an exciting time to be expanding your business or to move into a new role.”
– Jamie Rogers, XP Divisional Lead at mustard jobs.
IN 2023, WE RECERTIFIED WITH A SCORE OF 130.3.
130.3 is an outstanding achievement and something we should all be very proud of.
In 2019, ADLIB was one of a small handful of recruitment businesses globally that certified as a B Corp, our starting point was a score of 82.8. Our belief is that the B Corp assessment provides a structure, with clear measurement, to set clear improvement targets. Our initial certification was simply the start of the journey.
We set out our intentions through the publication of our annual impact reports and set the bar high. This approach and transparency ensured we achieved the focus and accountability needed to make improvements and reach our goals.
This impact report reflects on our recertification, what we have achieved, and provides a glimpse into where we head next.
GOVERNANCE – In 2020 ADLIB converted to a 100% employee ownership model. True stakeholder capitalism. Our recertification score acknowledges this transparency, from an internal perspective with regards to the day-to-day financial management, quarterly updates and access to the entire P&L. External publication of impact reports on social and environmental performance and commitment to our code of conducts.
WORKERS – We’re a people business in every sense of the phrase. Since our initial certification we have invested heavily into our team through numerous initiatives to build a stakeholder model that is fit for the long term.
COMMUNITY – At the centre of any community is a shared belief in attitudes and interests in common. For ADLIB, community covers a lot of ground. We support regional ecosystems, provide insight and advocate for international communities that are fighting for equality. The team have built their own communities from the ground up, we’ve supported community based projects that improve people’s lives, and play an active role within the B Corp community.
ENVIRONMENT – As a B2B service provider we store an increasing amount of customer and candidate data. Given our learnings from within the Green Tech South West community, we are increasingly aware that the life cycle of storing, processing, and transmitting digital information is an area that we need to pay significant attention to.
CUSTOMERS – In 2021-22 we aimed to improve our customer score by 10 points via the MotherBoard Charter. After long discussion with B Lab it was concluded that Mums in Tech are not recognised as underserved. Furthermore, the initiative is a not for profit, charging charter signatories an administration fee only and therefore no points were awarded. Our response was threefold.
The Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme, in partnership with Babbasa as part of the OurCity2030 initiative, is a stellar example of how BCI members can come together to fund and deliver a complex programme of internships and training to support some of the region’s most underrepresented young people.
After a successful pilot over the past few months with 14 brilliant agencies, we are now looking for more creative businesses to join our mission.
They will support the second cohort of interns during the next phase of this innovative project in 2024.
Agencies pay a one-off fee which covers:
✅ Onboarding to the programme including guidance and templates around internship structure/workplan.
✅ ED&I, mental health and neurodiversity training with a focus on working with young people from underrepresented groups.
✅ HR support and mentoring from Bristol Creative Industries’ dedicated internship programme manager Clare Leczycki.
✅ Recruitment and employment of two interns over six months.
If you are interested in taking part, email Bristol Creative Industries membership manager Alli Nicholas on [email protected]
Paula Newport, director of people and culture, Aardman Animations:
If you are interested in taking part, email Bristol Creative Industries membership manager Alli Nicholas on [email protected]