Tim Thorpe Consulting Ltd was contracted by NZ On Air and NZFC on behalf of Screen NZ to undertake a short study of skills shortages in drama production in New Zealand. The Terms of Reference for this assignment were to:

  • broadly look at where there are skills shortages in drama production, how these might be plugged, and where there might be other financial partners to help with this.
  • create a one-page ‘cheat sheet’ diagram summarising the main tertiary training institutions which offer screen courses; government financial investment in these, the likely number of graduates and workforce entry data.

The study was conducted in May 2015.

Key findings

  • Wholesale skills shortages are not occurring in the NZ screen industry.
  • Any shortages that are occurring are able to be met through normal market mechanisms eg recruitment from Australia or upskilling on-the-job.
  • One area of concern across the sector is production accountants -which the NZFC is already addressing.
  • There are concerns from some quarters about line producers, location managers, location scouts, production managers and possibly sound recordists and 1st A/Ds. These shortages are all below-the-line.