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Mon, 13 Jun


Online Event, via Zoom

Tackling the Skills Gap: Cross-Industry Panel

This solution focused panel will bring together professionals from across the industry to discuss the current landscape and challenges facing the industry, as well as the key issues for hiring and retaining talent.

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Tackling the Skills Gap: Cross-Industry Panel
Tackling the Skills Gap: Cross-Industry Panel

Time & Location

13 Jun 2022, 18:00 – 19:00 BST

Online Event, via Zoom

About the Event

Recent reports have revealed TV and film industry wide skills-related issues, coupled with the boom in UK productions, has increased the demand for talent and crew. This has created further challenges for both scripted and unscripted productions, from talent shortages to crew stepping up without support and training.

With the increase of productions shooting across the UK and the demand for talent rising, what is being done to tackle the skills gap?

This solution focused panel will bring together professionals from across the industry to discuss the current landscape and challenges facing the industry, as well as the key issues for hiring and retaining talent. They will also highlight upskilling and networking opportunities talent managers, production companies and freelancers can access to connect with talent and widen their networks.


Edi Smockum is Managing Director of thinkBIGGER! Ltd a training and consultancy company which specialises in getting underrepresented groups into the television industry. Through work on programmes such as the Channel 4 Production Training Scheme, the PACT Indie Diversity Scheme and others, thinkBIGGER! has helped over 350 people develop their careers in television. She is passionate about television being a career for everyone, and is proud her programmes have produced several Commissioners, Series Producers and presenters.

Dawn Beresford is Head of Talent at CPL Productions and Talent Advisor at Arrow International Media. She started out as a Runner at the BBC and went on to become a freelance Producer Director, Series Producer and Executive Producer for Factual and Factual Entertainment shows for Channel 4, ITV, BBC 2, BBC 3 and Discovery. Dawn returned to the BBC as Genre Executive for the Factual Commissioning Department before moving into talent management after joining Shine TV. She is a member of the Screenskills Unscripted Fund Production Working Group, an Advisory Board Member for Creative Access and a 2019 WFTV Mentee.

Kaye Elliott is Director of High-end Television at ScreenSkills, setting the strategy and overseeing all aspects of the HETV industry-led investments and delivering skills support for UK freelancers at every stage of their drama careers. Currently delivering over £10million of industry investment into skills to develop and progress individuals' careers in HETV across the UK. Previously Kaye was Deputy Director of Partnerships and Head of Production Services at Creative England where she was responsible for developing partnerships with national and international industry, as well as overseeing the delivery of support services to film and TV production across the English regions.

Méabh O’Donovan is Head of NFTS Leeds, a regional hub of the National Film and Television School (NFTS), one of the world’s leading film schools. Based in Yorkshire, over the last two decades Méabh has worked across the regions and nations of the UK in sales, marketing and exhibition and later in devising and delivering training and talent development.

She is passionate about opportunities for people coming into the industry, particularly for those outside of London. Méabh sees skills development as being an integral part of ensuring the UK has a skilled and diverse workforce to meet the increasing demands of the industry.

Samantha Rifkin works as the National Crew & Facilities Manager for the national screen agency Creative England. She oversees a national crewing service, managing a crew and facilities database which currently holds the details of over 6000 freelancers and companies. Sam liaises with feature films and HETV productions daily to help identify appropriately skilled and talented crew in the regions, outside of London. Productions she has assisted with crewing include Peaky Blinders, No Time to Die, It’s A Sin and The Batman.


Lucy Price is the Founder and Managing Director of Loop Talent, an Agency and Diary Service representing a brilliant and diverse mix of HODs and Crew working in HETV, Film, Commercials and Music Promos.

Lucy started her career as a freelance Assistant Director working for companies including the BBC, before becoming an Agent for HODs. Lucy founded Loop Talent in 2020, building on her excellent reputation as an Agent to establish a company with an ethos of ‘empowering, progressing and nurturing’ talent. Lucy is proud to represent a varied roster of award-winning talent, working on projects internationally.

This event is for existing WFTV members only.

Attending participants will not be visible to others and will be muted throughout the session. After the talk, there will be an opportunity for audience members to ask their questions to the panel by using the Q&A feature.

If you are not a member and would like to join, membership costs just £100 + VAT/yr , please click here or email

At WFTV we’re keen to ensure that all our events are accessible for everyone. If you have any access needs, please can you let us know before the event and we will do our best to accommodate you. We would be grateful if you can give us as much notice as possible – please contact


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