Skills shortages in drama production

Skills Shortages in Drama Production (pdf)
01 Jul 2015

Tim Thorpe Consulting Ltd undertook a study looking at where there are skills shortages in drama production, how these might be plugged, and where there might be other financial partners to help. They were also tasked with creating a one-page ‘cheat sheet’ diagram summarising the main tertiary training institutions which offer screen courses; government financial investment in these, the likely number of graduates and workforce entry data. To achieve this, qualitative discussions were conducted with Screen NZ and key industry guilds, and quantitative data on screen industry graduates and employment outcomes were obtained from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and Statistics NZ Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) database.


Skills Shortages

This study is based on meetings with representatives from Screen NZ and conversations with key industry guilds and producers/line producers initially identified by Screen NZ but refined as the study proceeded due to availability. The study does not purport to be in-depth but rather to provide a snap-shot of opinions. No attempt has been made to quantify skills shortages.

Most respondents were provided with the TOR via email before conversations took place. Discussions were then generally open ended and unprompted. Confidentiality about specific issues was requested by respondents on two occasions.

One conversation lasted in excess of an hour; conversely several people contacted were not available due to time commitments.

Notes were taken of all meetings and these have been quoted where relevant in this report.

Tertiary Level Training

Data on screen industry graduates and employment outcomes was obtained from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and Statistics NZ Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) database.

TEC helped identify relevant screen related courses and the amount of government funding provided to these. Statistics NZ used this data to derive employment outcomes.

By-and-large the screen industry and screen related qualifications were defined fairly tightly. The annual Statistics NZ Screen Industry Survey definition (using ANZSIC06 codes) was used as the basis for defining the screen industry. Screen related qualifications were only chosen if they focused on providing graduates for the screen industry as distinct to other outcomes such as fine arts, design, academia etc.

A list of tertiary level institutions and qualifications used in the study is contained in Appendix 3. Industry classification codes (ANZSIC06) are outlined in Appendix 4.

Key Results

  • Wholesale skills shortages are not occurring in the NZ screen industry.
  • Any shortages that are occurring are able to be met through normal market mechanisms eg recruitment from Australia or upskilling on-the-job.
  • One area of concern across the sector is production accountants -which the NZFC is already addressing.
  • There are concerns from some quarters about line producers, location managers, location scouts, production managers and possibly sound recordists and 1st A/Ds. These shortages are all below-the-line.
Page last modified: 04 Jul 2018