ITV is launching a massive recruitment drive to create hundreds of new jobs.
The broadcaster has set up an ITV Academy to bring more people into production opportunities and roles behind the camera.
The industry in Britain contributes around £18billion a year to the economy but experts have said many productions are facing disruptions to shooting schedules because of skills shortages — ranging from set decorators to special effects screen experts.
ITV’s Academy will also offer roles on Coronation Street — the country’s most watched soap — from a trainee make-up artist to production secretary. It is also hiring journalists and for roles in production finance.
Boss Carolyn McCall said: “To make all of these fantastic programmes we need people working in TV production. It’s a sector where Britain leads the world.”
ITV now makes a lot of its money licensing its programmes to other countries, such as My Mom, Your Dad.
ITV is investing about £160million into its ITVX free streaming service this year and developing exclusive original content.
The service has gained 1.5million new registrations in two months and is also available to Sky Q customers, who can watch more than 19,000 hours of shows.
Last week, the business said that it was already proving more popular than its ITV Hub predecessor and was attracting plenty of younger viewers.
‘Invisible barrier to TV isn’t real’
Now you can watch these wherever you are, whenever you want, on our new streaming service ITVX.
We know households are facing big changes, which is why it was so important to make this service completely free for viewers.
Britain is known around the world for making great programmes. However, for whatever reason there is still an invisible barrier that stops people from thinking they can get a job in TV.
When most people think of a TV career they think of acting or presenting. But we have a real skills shortage in the industry behind the camera.
We are recruiting for hundreds of roles from every background so it really doesn’t matter where you’re from.
You could also work in finance or technology but have the thrill of being part of some of the best-watched shows in the country.
That’s why we have set up the ITV Academy to bring through the next generation of talent.
Our strapline sums it up: Don’t just watch it. Be part of it. And given it’s International Women’s Day, ITV has been encouraging new female writers, who are telling fresh stories and delivering exciting dramas.
Since I’ve been chief executive, we have increased the number of our female drama writers from 29 per cent to 38 per cent.
There’s no question that having talented female commissioners, including our head of drama, has changed the programmes we make.
IT’S HAUL GRAVY
Premier Foods enjoyed a strong performance in the three months to January.
Now the company’s recent sales will be at least 10 per cent higher than the same period the previous year. It expects profits also to go up 10 per cent, to £155million.
However, shoppers have complained on social media about the “madness” of price rises.
A tub of Bisto now costs £4.75 in Co-op, a steep rise from £2.60 a year ago.
TRICKIER BRICKS A LEGO LIFT
MORE complex Lego kits for kids and grown-ups are lifting sales at the Danish toy brick firm, as it outpaces its rivals.
Its sales rose by 17 per cent to £7.7billion last year, while profits rose by 4 per cent to £1.6billion.
The adult Lego Technic range is selling particularly strongly, as are its tie-ups with Star Wars and Harry Potter.
Lego opened 155 new stores in the past year, taking its total to 904 globally. It is also investing in digital growth to let customers play and interact with the brand online.
Boss Niels Christiansen said the company — which celebrated its 90th anniversary last year — is “more relevant and appealing than ever”.
Last year Lego raised prices, blaming higher costs of raw materials. Bosses said the increase in revenues was driven by shoppers buying “more complicated sets”.
‘ZAP CAR CHARGE’
ELECTRIC vehicle drivers want Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to axe the “pavement tax”.
VAT on electricity from public chargers is 20 per cent while the rate on chargers at home is 5 per cent.
It means charging a car while out and about is more expensive than buying petrol. Over 40 MPs and peers have written to Mr Hunt.
FairCharge’s Quentin Willson said: “Nearly four in ten households don’t have a drive. The Treasury is disadvantaging those drivers by making them pay four times the rate.”