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Launching 'Step Across' - start of article

Launching 'Step Across'

This week Screen Alliance Wales, as part of a project with the British Film Commission, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Sgil Cymru & Creative Wales, is launching the ‘Step Across’ scheme.

Developed to tackle the ever-dwindling boundaries between the various creative industries in Wales, the initiative seeks to help Creative sector professionals publicise their transferable skills and meet the demands in the various sectors.  In recent years we have seen the traditional gulf between film and television dwindle to virtual insignificance, and both regularly incorporating skills from the digital industries.  The scope of productions in the theatre and live events means that the talent pools of the audio-visual arts have a lot to offer as well.  For example, we are seeing greater levels of animatronics and visual effects used on stage, previously found only in TV & Film production.

Step Across is a first step to breaking these barriers down, working with the theatre and live events sector to help find employment for crew who may have found their income streams fall away during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Step Across will help connect these individuals to companies which can utilise their skills and support any re-training needs.  This will be achieved by enabling Theatre and Live event crew to register on our Production Directory, which has been adapted to accept references from employers, as well traditionally basing verification of their professional status using web links such as IMDb.

Any re-training required to facilitate these changes will harness both the positivity within the audio-visual sector, and work with existing organisations who deliver training. While some new features and processes will be developed, the plan is to align with existing organisations such as CULT Cymru and forge other relationships that will help address the needs of the sector.

This project is supported by institutions such as the Wales Millennium Centre and Cardiff Council.

‘We are delighted to be supporting this Screen Alliance Wales ‘Step Across’ scheme. Our live performance sector has suffered greatly during the pandemic with so many theatre and production crew losing work and their livelihoods as a consequence. This exciting project will help enable crew to utilise their skills in the TV and Production industry in Cardiff and South East Wales, opening up new opportunities for them, fostering closer working partnerships between both sectors, to support a natural skills alliance to help address shortages in industry and sustain our world class creative sector’ 

Cllr Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council

“This is a very welcome initiative for those working in the theatre industry, many of whom have not been able to work in their chosen field for a year. Wales Millennium Centre is focussed, like Screen Alliance Wales, on developing new pathways for employment into the creative industries. Many of the skills within the screen and stage sector are transferable yet we do not see enough opportunities to work across these sectors together. I hope and expect that this will be the start of a long-term partnership and commitment to increasing a wide range of opportunities and building this vibrant creative sector in Wales.”

Graeme Farrow, Creative Director, Wales Millennium Centre

While the initial scheme will see live events workers retrain in the TV sector, the long-term aim is to work towards a broader pool of skills, so all the sectors that contribute so significantly to the local economy, can better ride the peaks and troughs of demand in years to come, and aspire to ensure fiscal sustainability.

For any further questions about this programme, and how to get involved, contact us at [email protected].

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