Bridging the expectation gap: Career pathways for entrants to the film and TV industries

Laura Mayne and James Zborowski (University of Hull)

A frequent complaint of film and TV industry employers is that new entrants to the industry lack a fine-grained understanding of entry-level roles and what they entail, career progression paths, technical skills for roles with skills gaps (e.g. editing), and the contractual and financial realities of the sector. This project will triangulate assumptions and expectations about the creative industries from education providers (those who design and deliver formal media-related courses, e.g. BTEC qualifications, to 16-18 year-olds); level 3/further education/’sixth-form’ students; film and TV industry employers.

The way creative work is framed in popular discourse – and taught in level 3 qualifications and beyond – can compound these assumptions by presenting a limited view of creativity which glamourizes high-level production roles and renders invisible the everyday realities of building career pathways through the sector.

By confirming the existence and extent of these ‘expectation gaps’, this research project aims to take first steps towards addressing them, which has positive implications for efficiency, productivity and social justice. Through the project, researchers hope to equip young entrants to the industry with the knowledge and skills they need, and to provide them with a clearer view of working conditions, barriers to entry and opportunities for progression.

This project is part of:

  • Research

    Investigating the challenges facing the screen industries and devising evidence-based interventions