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EDUCATION Education meets industry... A personal view by ITTP founder member Bernard Newnham H eatherden Hall – the most famous country house you’ve never heard of. Famous because it has appeared in large numbers of British films from Goldfinger to Carry on Camping. Why? Because it’s the original building at the UK’s premier film studio – Pinewood. A fitting place, then, to hold a conference on media industry training. ITTP stands for the Institute for Training in Television Production. When we started I thought that was a pretty grand title for a group of industry veterans (I hope they don’t mind being called that) who two years ago sat down in a pub near Broadcasting House and said “we think we have a problem with education”. The problem wasn’t about grand strategies or spheres of influence, it was about the simplest of things - like new camera trainees not knowing Ohm’s Law - and a lot of other very basic related requirements needed to get started at the bottom of the technical world of television. Were we just a bunch of old fogeys? “It was all better when we were young”? Well, over the next year we found out that we weren’t – we really really weren’t. The stories came from every area of the industry, and so this time last year we had a conference where employers and practitioners could get together with the educators and discuss the problems, and what to do next. In the year since we’ve come up with two main ways forward, and this year’s conference was partly to do the same as last year – let the educators meet the employers – and also to present our thoughts and listen to the reactions. Since last time we’ve talked to a lot of people – Creative Skillset, the DCMS, BT Sport, Sky, and many others. Even 42 | KITPLUS - TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 98 FEBRUARY 2015 Graham Reed, ITTP Chair the highest in the land – last summer three intimidated people went through layers of security to pitch our ideas to the next in line to the Throne, Prince Charles. The result was that the programme for this year’s conference contained a letter headed Clarence House and signed “Charles”. Basically, it said “Absolutely. I support you. Carry on” So we’d better. Heatherden Hall’s ballroom was just big enough, though we had to bring in more chairs to seat the 140 or so delegates who signed up. The majority were from education as we’d hoped, but there were also representatives from the guilds and societies, and other trade bodies and the wider industry. The whole day was recorded and, appropriately, the camera crew was largely students, in this case from Kingston University Television and Video Technology Hons BSc course, who operated, floor managed, etc, supervised by the professionals from Procam and Advision. Mark Hackett, TV Sales director at Pinewood, welcomed the assembly with a glorious showreel. He was followed by our keynote speaker, Darren Long, who is Director of Sky Production Services. It’s likely that any new trainee would want to look at a technical career with Sky, as they are now a major employer, and they take training very seriously. The fact that Darren is such a strong supporter of ITTP