With support for career progression being the highest priority in today’s film and HETV production workplace in the UK, the Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB) has responded by quadrupling the number of training courses that she offers in the past year alone.
As part of its official partnership with the British Film Commission, 230 trainees have been supported since 2020 in roles identified as “priority areas” by the industry, including executive producers, Covid supervisors, stage managers, production and production secretaries.
As the volume of training has increased, the need for responsiveness and flexibility in delivery has also increased. During the first months of the pandemic, supported by investment from BFC, PGGB set about designing its new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), built using award-winning Moodle software which has been hailed as a game-changer. game in educational institutions and workplaces around the world.
“The pandemic has pushed much of our industry into the virtual space, at a time when new, highly specialized roles like Covid supervisor were suddenly a ‘must have’ for every production,” says Lyndsay Duthie, head of Executive PGGB.
“We knew we needed to bring trainees together remotely to access high-caliber training with all the necessary resources and materials in one place. But we wanted to go further.
“With the VLE, we wanted each trainee to become a supported member of a learning community that would continue beyond the duration of the course, as they navigated what seemed like quite uncharted waters. “
Launched in late 2020 with PGGB & BFC’s first cohort of high-level Covid supervisor training, the VLE has quickly become an indispensable tool in the Guild’s efforts to equip professionals working at the heart of post-lockdown recovery.
“After our third cohort of this course, we had assembled what was essentially a crack team of around 45 UK expert Covid supervisors with a comprehensive overview of the complexities of COVID-19 safety in practice, relating to different types of filming , under a range of conditions, in the face of contrasting variables.
“Thanks to VLE, they were able to keep pace with the situation and share best practices as we went through the pandemic. So have all the interns in other roles we have supported since.
The VLE is regularly updated with CPD material, additional recordings, updates and resources, which means the information stays up to date as guidance adapts.
“It is more important than ever that people are empowered to step up to the next level with skill and confidence, especially in leadership roles”
With unique features such as feedback grading, individual course pages, and H5P content like quizzes, quizzes, and presentations, the VLE offers a high level of interactivity and can be viewed much more flexibly.
“What’s clear from the trainees’ feedback is that it can be very difficult to fit traditional training into ever-busier work schedules. Crews are working harder, under pressure, with maybe less, or in some cases no breaks between shoots.
“People ‘make hay while the sun is shining’ which is totally understandable, and when there’s always work to do, there’s rarely a good time to slip away for training.
“At the same time, it is more important than ever that people are empowered to step up to the next level with skill and confidence, especially in leadership roles. If we don’t adapt with new solutions, we run the risk of people stepping in too soon without the knowledge and skills to thrive in higher roles, which can lead to burnout.
“What the VLE offers is the possibility for participants to adapt the courses, to access the resources when they have the time and the flexibility. Teams are supported in their career development, while respecting work commitments that drive productions forward.
“I am extremely proud that PGGB and BFC have developed such an innovative tool and that now, two years later, we can see the real impact it is having on our trainees’ careers.”
What PGGB interns say
“The training broadened both my technical knowledge and my management skills. Plus, VLE has helped me expand my network, which in this industry is half the battle. »
“Valuable tips and advice from experienced professionals.”
“The VLE is really interesting and easy to use.”
“The course and VLE are packed with useful information and resources, giving you the confidence to get started in a busy production desktop environment.”