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Film Industry Training Board (FITB)

First ITB For 20 Years

April 6 2008 - The Film Industry Training Board has been set up to enhance skills development in the UK film industry. This is the first industrial training board to be launched in two decades. ITBs are statutory bodies set up under the industrial Training Act 1982. The FITB will oversee delivery and operation of the Skills Investment Fund (SIF), currently a voluntary training levy for the film production industry which will become mandatory towards the end of 2008.

Iain Smith, producer of a number of acclaimed films such as Cold Mountain, Children of Men, The Fifth Element and Seven Years in Tibet, will chair the new board. He was recently honoured with an OBE for services to the UK film industry. The FITB will be granted statutory levy powers to ensure that companies across the industry invest in training with the aim of addressing the need for world-class skills in the UK's film-making organizations.

Iain Smith commented on the new board:

"The establishment of a Film Industry Training Board is hugely positive for the UK film production industry. This gives us greater control of our future success. The Board of the FITB will be responsible for setting the training levy and deciding how the money is invested to support us continuing to have the most highly skilled film production workforce in the world."

Iain Smith has been appointed for 5 years. The job is part-time (approximately 12 days per year) and unpaid. In place by end-May, the Board will consist of 8 permanent members; 4 employer representatives from the production sector; and 4 ex-officio posts, drawn from the industry's employer organisation, trade union, the UK Film Council and Skillset. They will set levy rates and define which films will be in scope to pay the levy.

According to John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills:

"Investment in skills is crucial to the development of any successful UK industry. It is inspiring that the film production industry has embraced a collective responsibility for its own future training and development needs. I pay tribute to Skillset for working with government and the industry to support the establishment of this ground-breaking initiative."

Skills Minister David Lammy said:

"I am delighted to announce the appointment of Iain Smith, and look forward to working with him. By making an industry-wide commitment to training, the film production industry will continue to renew and expand its skills base, and will have a strong foundation on which to develop its global reputation for innovation and excellence."

Stewart Till, Deputy Chair of Skillset and Chair of UK Film Council, said:

"Iain's appointment is significant news for the British film industry. His worldwide reputation and his passion for developing talent at every level of our industry absolutely makes him the ideal person to lead the establishment of the FITB."



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