Awareness, Training and Talent: Speakers at Glasgow event issue call to arms for Scottish sports broadcasting and production sector

More multi-discipline freelancers and increased collaboration between local production companies are key to the continued success of sports broadcasting in Scotland. That was the big takeaway from SVG Europe Women’s ‘Awareness, Training and Talent’ discussion and networking event in Glasgow on Thursday 9 March.

Taking place at the Box Hub in the centre of the city, the free-to-attend broadcast industry get-together was attended by more than 50 people and featured two seminar sessions focusing on increasing diversity and developing the workforce within Scottish TV production.

The first, called ‘Three-pronged attack: Bringing new talent to Scottish sports broadcasting’, was chaired by sports broadcaster and journalist Alison Walker and focussed on getting to grips with what needs to be done to increase diversity in the sports TV production sector.

The panel debating this crucial topic included Alison Goring, head of the National Film and Television School (NFTS) Scotland; Heather McLean, head of SVG Europe Women and editor at SVG Europe; Fi Milligan-Rennie, Screen Scotland’s head of education – screen; and Paul Tucker, a University of West Scotland senior lecturer in the School of Business and Creative Industries.

They concluded that, in what is a relatively small domestic market, there is a significant need for freelancers to be able to successfully work on both studio productions and outside broadcasts. Increasing the number of multi-discipline crew will help to re-balance the gender inbalance, they said, adding that the industry also needs to work more closely with educational establishments to ensure a more ‘ready for work’ workforce and reaffirming the need to work harder if we want to be more inclusive.

The second session was a passionate plea for better collaboration between TV production companies and broadcasters in Scotland, and a call to embrace a new training scheme.

‘Your country needs you! Launching a new training scheme’, saw Katie Leveson, BBC Studioworks’ culture and transformation director; Lucy Lake, QTV’s director of people and purpose; and Michael McGee, a trainee at QTV, talking with McLean about a new training course developed between QTV, BBC Studioworks and NFTS Scotland.

The course is for those new to the industry but also aims to bring live sports and studio production skills to people already working in TV. Ahead of the scheme’s launch, the panel discussed how it will work and what it aims to do for sports broadcasting in the region.

The on-stage content concluded with the exclusive unveiling of the first episode of SVG Europe Women’s ‘Behind the Lens’, a series of educational videos that detail the different production technical roles that exist within sports broadcasting.

The hugely successful evening was then brought to a close with networking.

Awareness, Training and Talent took place in Glasgow on 9 March 2023. It was produced in association with the Scottish production company and independent outside broadcast provider QTV.

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