I propose to take Questions Nos. 65 and 68 together.
As part of a response to improve training and related conditions of employment in the film industry, the Irish Film Board and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland jointly commissioned a report on the issue of training in the Irish film, television and animation industry. The study by consultants Crowe Howarth Final Report in respect of Strategy for the Development of Skills for the Audio-Visual Industry in Ireland.
The Film Board through its training arm Screen Training Ireland is already acting on the recommendations of the Crowe Howarth Report. Screen Training Ireland is now examining the report wit a view to implementing the major recommendations. This will include:
- Establishment of an advisory Board for Screen Training Ireland;
- Appointment of a Training Manager;
- Engagement with the sector with regard to the recommendations;
- A skills-gap audit across live-action, animation and television production sectors; and
- Consideration of accreditation models.
In addition, international audiovisual consultants Olsberg SPI with Nordicity were commissioned to undertake an economic analysis of the Irish audiovisual industry to determine its contribution to Ireland’s economy and to make recommendations for policy interventions which would increase the value of and numbers employed in the sector. The consultants finalised and submitted their report to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Steering Group members in December 2017.
The recommendations of the economic analysis and the Crowe Horwath report are providing inputs for the development of an industry-wide long-term plan for the production of film, TV, drama and animation in Ireland under Pillar 4 of the Creative Ireland programme. This will include the establishment of an ongoing steering group to oversee the development of the industry.
Employees in the film industry are entitled to all existing legal protections. However, the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017, which is currently before the Dáil will improve the security and predictability of working hours for employees on insecure contracts and those working variable hours. The Bill, which is a matter for the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection is being brought forward in response to the commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government to address the problems caused by the increased casualisation of work and to strengthen the regulation of precarious work.