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Return to Work scheme successfully gets parents back into the TV industry

Date posted: 18.10.2017

Earlier this year we launched a return-to-work scheme for parents wishing to get back into the TV industry after starting a family.

The initiative, funded by Creative Skillset’s high-end TV levy, offered tailored placements, or ‘returnships’, at six high-profile companies: Carnival, Tiger Aspect, Objective Media Group, Cuba Pictures, Molinare and Twickenham Studios. After receiving training, support and advice, the selected returners were each matched with the company which best complement their skills and experience, and were also paired with leading industry mentors.

The scheme will formally finish in December, but has already been hugely successful, with the majority of returners hired to work for companies including Reef TV, Aardman Features and CBBC, as well as some of the companies that took part in the scheme.

Tora Young, who did her returnship with Cuba Pictures, is now 3D Producer on the forthcoming Aardman Features film Early Man. Tora says “my time on the Return to Work scheme has been utterly transformational. Being given the opportunity to get back into the work place, sit in on development, writer, director and agent meetings, write script and book reports and re-establish old industry contacts meant that my years of experience and, crucially, my confidence, came flooding back.” 

Katherine Beacon, who was matched with Tiger Aspect, was afterwards hired by the company for an additional four weeks, and they also optioned one of her projects for development. She has now been hired by CBBC as a development producer. Katherine says “Because of this opportunity and the support, re-training and encouragement received throughout it, I know I can do what I love to do in a way that works for me and my family, as well as, crucially, the company I end up working for.”

Our other returners were: Rebecca Baker, who was paired with Twickenham Studios and has been re-hired by them to complete the project she was worked on during her placement; Elias Millward, who was with Carnival and has been re-hired as post-production coordinator on season two of Jamestown; Sarah Baily, who was with Objective Media Group and is currently working with Reef TV as a production coordinator; and Caroline Purkayastha, who was paired with Molinare and is currently interviewing for jobs in post-production.

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