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TRAINING councils to maintain the strength of the course and the relationship.” For Creative Skillset, Victor Glynn also emphasised that it was not an evaluation and either a tick or not. “As part of the Skillset tick you get a local consultative board of the great and the good in the area,” he said. “They are a huge resource in providing contacts and opening doors.” For both bodies, though, their accreditation programme is aimed at academic institutions. Christine Blundell and Peter Agbaba have founded a craft skills training centre, for hair and make-up. They argued fl uently that “there is no formal structure in the industry any more, so there is no defi ned path. We are looking at some sort of evaluation scheme, and we have looked at Skillset for accreditation but they are not currently interested. In effect, we are self-certifi cating.” Ultimately, the value of accreditation at present is seen as a guide to the better courses, the academic programmes that have some value to the world of work. Dinah Caine said “I think it is incredibly important that students get signposted into courses that will be relevant to future employment. Creative Skillset accreditation is now a part of formal student information packs.” Anne Morrison of BBC Academy made the point even more starkly: “I feel very sorry for some people who have spent £9000 a year for three years on a degree that is not worth very much. We have to be involved in universities and accreditation.” By the industry While the old days of everyone in the industry going through Wood Norton at some stage in their career have long gone, Morrison was keen to emphasise that the BBC is still “the industry trainer”. “We delivered something like 50,000 days of training last year, and our websites are open access to people outside the BBC,” she said. “The philosophy of the BBC Academy is 84 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 86 FEBRUARY 2014 to share our knowledge with the wider industry because we are all dependent upon a mobile workforce.” The point was also made that work experience can help to bridge the expectations gap between students at university and employers. As Doug Fletcher of CTV said, “a 30 camera outside broadcast is a big eye opener for students.” For the BBC, Anne Morrison said “we have about 1500 people a year come in on work experience. This is limited to four weeks. Work experience can be abused, and we are leading the way in stamping this out. Creative Skillset has brought out a set of guidelines on the law and work experience.” The conference heard that Sunset + Vine has taken on a group of apprentices for its 2014 Commonwealth Games coverage. But while work experience was seen as an important part of the process, the point was also made that the tools today are so inexpensive that cost is rarely a barrier. David G Croft, one of our most successful light entertainment directors and now a lecturer at the National Film and Television School, said “You want to be a director – make some fi lms! Film your mum making breakfast and work up. If you want to be successful in the television industry they you have to go for it.” The delegates were uniformly grateful for the day and the chance to at least open the debate, but it is clear there is still much to do in opening up the lines of communication. We need further clarifi cation in what the industry wants and what universities and other training bodies can deliver. As a delegate said in the fi nal session, “the universities have been talking about accreditation of their courses; the industry has been talking about personal credentials. The course has to deliver what the student wants, but when it comes to working in the industry, the validation comes from your peers. You need to be recognised by the industry itself.” That industry remains an exciting and a vibrant place to be. And, as chairman Graham Reed said, “by improving training we can improve the profi tability of the British television industry. This conference is about making it happen.”