KitPlus - The TV-Bay Magazine

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TRAINING NOT TELEVISION STANDARDS BUT STANDARDS IN TELEVISION Graham Reed Chairman of the ITTP (Institute for Training in Television Production). Since the advent of file delivery for programmes, it has become ever more difficult for producers to know what format to deliver their material on. You knew where you were with a 2” tape in PAL, or a 1”, or a DigiBeta. Over the last few years video codecs have proliferated and have changed almost by the day. How to deliver? Codec? File size? Bitrate? A welcome development recently in the UK is The Digital Production Partnership, DPP, which has issued a broadcast delivery standard agreed by all the main broadcasting organisations. A standard! Sanity at last! Standards are everywhere in life, and if you employ an electrician to rewire your house you can ask to see his qualifications that make him suitable to do the job. If you employ a bricklayer you again can ask to see what training he has done that will make him skilled enough to build your wall. If you employ an accountant to do your accounts you can ask him to show you his qualifications that will prove he has enough knowledge and skills to do this work. On the other hand if you employ a camera operator or sound recordist will they be able to prove to you that they are qualified to do these roles? They may have undertaken a university or college course but does this make them employable? They may have been trained in a production company or have been trained by ‘Uncle Bob’, as I call it. The person trained by ‘Uncle Bob’ may well be a better candidate than those who have come through a university course. But as a future employer how will 40 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 119 NOVEMBER 2016 you know? Many broadcasters are finding it increasingly difficult when recruiting to know which people are best qualified for the roles advertised. The problem of evaluating new entrants into the broadcast industry was a major problem that was raised at the first Institute of Training in Television Production (ITTP) conference, at Pinewood Studios in 2014. Members of the Institute are concerned about the falling standards in television production which is made worse by the lack of knowledge and skills by those people entering the industry. All successful industries need a well trained workforce and there are many reasons why the skills and knowledge of the UK TV workforce is decreasing. I have many times been surprised and disappointed about the lack of knowledge that some of my crew members seem to have, even those who have who had been in the industry for some time. I am also often disappointed by the lack of knowledge that some of my young work experience people have. These are often second or third year students from a university. A common example I give is when asked. “What is the maximum current supply from a domestic socket?” They do not know the answer! Since the first conference the ITTP have been working to develop a set of Approved Skills which will be a benchmark of the level of skills and knowledge of those entering the industry will need to have. The ITTP didn’t itself write the list but worked with other professional organisations, for example, The Society of Television Lighting Designers, STLD, and the Institute of Professional Sound, IPS, to produce the