ITV launches the ITV Academy and appoints Sonny Hanley as Director

ITV has today announced the launch of the ITV Academy to address current and future skills gaps.  Sonny Hanley – whose career at ITV has spanned over 20 years with roles varying from Fac Ent Production, Technology, Operations and Content Services – has been appointed as its inaugural Director.

In common with others across the industry many of ITV’s production companies are reporting or are anticipating skill shortages.  In scripted these include Location Managers (and Assistants), Script Supervisors, Production Accountants, Production Coordinators/Secretaries and Grips.  In non-scripted there is a shortage of Editors, Production Managers, Senior Entertainment Producers, Self shooting Producers / DV Directors and Script Writers.

The ITV Academy will establish the priorities and plans with partners, like ScreenSkills, the National Film and TV School and Creative Access amongst others, to address these and future skills gaps.  It will also consolidate all of this activity and other initiatives across ITV to make it easier for people to access and apply for jobs, training and development.

One priority will be to encourage Government to allow the Apprenticeship Levy to create the growth in new opportunities it was supposed to deliver.

Roles currently available through the ITV Academy include new entry-level opportunities to work on Britain’s most watched soap Coronation Street as:

  • Trainee makeup artist
  • Trainee runner
  • Trainee grip assistant
  • Trainee production secretary

ITV is partnering with Creative Access on these roles to ensure candidates come from a range of underrepresented backgrounds.   Details can be found via ITV Jobs, here. In a video  Coronation Street actors Sally Dynevor, Ryan Russell, and Ellie Leach are seen on the famous set encouraging the budding trainees to apply.

Also, live this week, is the ITV Academy News Traineeship – giving twelve talented journalists across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Jersey, an incredible opportunity to start their career in news through a nine-month placement.  Applications can be found via ITV Jobs.

ITV CEO Carolyn McCall said: “Establishing the ITV Academy is our way of attacking skills shortages in industry. The ITV Academy will help us be more effective at addressing these shortages and provide more focus and coordination in training and development.

“We are incredibly proud that each year ITV Studios and ITV inspires, mentors, recruits, trains and develops thousands of people.  Building on this heritage the ITV Academy will also help us work more effectively with our partners like ScreenSkills and the National Film and Television School to address the skills gaps within the industry as well as to encourage Government to allow the Apprenticeship Levy to deliver the growth in new opportunities it was supposed to deliver.”

Sonny Hanley said today: “I’m really excited to be a part of building the ITV Academy – it is absolutely vital that we continue to upskill and develop our own production staff within ITV and to seek out and nurture the next generation in order to build and retain a solid pipeline of diverse talent to support the ever increasing needs of production.

“At ITV, we’re working harder than ever to provide world-class training to match that demand. I’m proud to be a part of something that will open doors and offer career paths for people from a range of backgrounds. This is a step towards change in our industry and ensuring that the future is bright for those starting out their career journeys.”

Other partners include Beacon Films, a production company of disabled, autistic and neurodivergent filmmakers of which Signpost Production, under the umbrella of the ITV Academy will offer free training to new Deaf and/or Disabled production talent.  ITV Academy’s strategy will also reflect the priorities to improve diversity and career progression in TV production outlined in ITV’s Diversity, Equality and Inclusion strategy.

Future development initiatives launching under the ITV Academy include Editor and Production Manager Bootcamps which will help advance the careers of both Assistant Editors and Junior Production Managers.   ITV Academy will leverage existing initiatives such as ITV’s ‘Original Voices’ scheme, ITV Studios Production and Development traineeships, along with new initiatives to fast-track career development to support future resource needs.

Sonny Hanley’s biography

Sonny’s career at ITV has spanned over 20 years with roles varying from Production to Technology to Operations to Content Services.  Prior to this role, Sonny’s work would see him introduce new technology to help production as well as work on the transformational project that moved tape delivery fully digital.  Sonny started his career within the factual entertainment department in Leeds, working on shows for ITV, Channel 4 as well as many others.  Sonny is also the Chair for ITV Embrace, ITV’s internal network for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic colleagues and sits on the Board of the Northern Ballet Company as a Non-Executive Director.

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