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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 March, 2005, 23:00 GMT 00:00 UK
Boost for film-makers' training
Ruth Kelly
Ruth Kelly has announced plans for a training board
Plans for a training board to help budding film-makers pursue their careers have been unveiled by the British Government.

Education Secretary Ruth Kelly said a new Industry Training Board would help Britain's "top young talent".

A compulsory levy on film productions made in Britain could also be introduced to help raise 500,000 a year for the training.

Ms Kelly will consult with industry officials before finalising the plans.

Training would be offered to those with ambitions of becoming directors, producers, camera operators, sound technicians, set-builders, model makers and actors.

'Investment in skills'

Ms Kelly said the board will help Britain's film industry maintain its high standards.

"The British film industry consistently produces creative and technical talent that can compete with the very best in the world," she said.

"This new initiative will ensure the investment in training to support and retain British film-makers and encourage more top young talent in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

The Department of Education and Skills (DfES) says a compulsory levy on UK film productions could help raise 500,000 a year for training.

The levy, 0.5% of the total production budget, is currently paid on a voluntary basis.

This can raise a maximum of 39,500 per production.

The money would be channelled into a five-year plan called A Bigger Future, launched by Skillset, the skills council covering the industry, and the UK Film Council, to attract talent into the industry.

A spokesperson for DfES said: "The levy would be an extremely small fraction of the cost of a film's production, but could make a real difference in improving the quality and variety of training on offer and secure the investment in skills vital for the future success of the film industry in Britain."

A survey of employer attitudes by Skillset found "strong support for a compulsory training levy".

Ms Kelly said she was "delighted by the extremely positive approach the film industry has towards training its employees."

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