U.K. skills investment fund nears $10 mil

Cash raised by levy to fund film skills training

LONDON -- The U.K.'s Skills Investment Fund has reached 6 million pounds ($9.6 million).

This year saw contributions from U.K.-produced films including "Quantum of Solace," "The Duchess" and "Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging."

Since its launch in 1999, 515 productions have contributed to the fund. While currently voluntary, the levy is likely to become mandatory following industry consultation.

Invested into training initiatives through the Skillset Film Skills Fund, it has helped pay for nearly 300 new entrant production trainees; more than 1,000 bursaries for film practitioners to access their chosen training; and enabled Skillset to subsidize the cost of more than 11,000 places on training courses, seminars and master classes for professionals already working in the industry.

"The U.K. film industry has a worldwide reputation for highly skilled crews," Bond producer Barbara Broccoli said. "Commercially, we benefit greatly from this well-deserved reputation, and to maintain it we must support the work force and their continual development. The SIF levy is a vital way of doing that, with contributions being invested in the production talent that helps the U.K. compete globally."
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