European Platform for Employment and Training in the Audiovisual and Live Performance Sectors


Examples of successful training schemes and tools for creative professionals in the digital environment

Access to training:
a multifaceted scope of action

Digitalisation has transformed the world we live in; the way we create and experience creative contents; the way we work. It has challenged the traditional models of making and offering culture. It has broadened the horizons of creation.

Through ever-evolving technologies, the digital environment also offers us a multitude of tools to better communicate, network and learn.

The live performance and audiovisual sectors, because of the very nature of their creative activities, should be firmly positioned at the heart of the digital transformations.

They should be equipped with the right mix of skills to create, market, and distribute their creative contents in the digital environment. They should also engage in research and development to shape tomorrow’s digital innovations.

Promoting the acquisition of digital skills has been recognised as an absolute necessity across all sectors of the European economies. It is a strategic priority in the new Skills Agenda for Europe, adopted by the European Commission in 2016, and funding lines dedicated to digital skills have been put in place at regional, national and European levels.

Opportunities for online training are also on the rise. New formats and models are constantly being tested and the sharing of digital learning contents is made easier every day.

Creative businesses can take better advantage of the digital tools to diversify their approach to training and to multiply the impact of their training actions.

They can encourage creative professionals to engage in learning for and in the digital environment.

But the digital world can also be a source of stress, of disconnection from human interactions, and of increasingly blurred lines between professional and personal lives. Helping the workforce understand and manage the digital environment is also an aspect of training to take into consideration.

Skills solutions:
inspirations from across Europe

Digital skills and tools at the INA training centre in France

The French National Audiovisual Institute (INA) is a National Public Utility Company in charge of archiving, research, audiovisual production and professional training.

INA Training offers courses in all areas of audiovisual and new media production, as well as broadcasting. Its catalogue of professional training courses evolves constantly in line with the needs of the sector.

Workshops have been developed on topics such as ‘360°contents’, ‘multiscreen marketing strategy’, ‘non-linear content programming’ or ‘transmedia projects’.

INA is also experimenting with new training models such as blended learning (50 courses in the training catalogue have additional modules on line) and online coaching.

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A Digital Learning Centre for Creative Freelancers in the UK

The Federation of Entertainment Unions - Equity, the Musicians’ Union, the National Union of Journalists and the Writers’ Guild - have joined forces to offer sector professionals working in non-permanent employment frameworks training opportunities for the development of their business and digital skills.

The project funded by the UK government via unionlearn (the skills development branch of the UK Trade Union Congress) combines live workshops, webinars and online training modules.

Topics covered go from ‘Finance for freelancers’ to ‘Building your web presence’, ‘Diversify your Portfolio’, ‘Ethics, Regulation, and Law’, ‘Copyright for Creatives’ and ‘Networking via the web’.

FEU Training also offers access to a Digital Learning Centre where freelancers have access to a range of e-learning opportunities, from downloads to video tutorials.

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Documenting skills acquisition and extending professional networks online

In some subsectors of the cultural and creative industries, recruitment processes are still rather traditional and informal. In certain occupations, however, the need to attract very specialised profiles, and demands to demonstrate competences acquired in the course of a lifetime are growing.

Online professional networks are also on the rise, as are cross-border and overseas professional partnerships - with the need to understand and recognise experiences and competences acquired in sometimes very different environments.

Initiatives such as the Open Badge Network – a European strategic partnership aimed at developing the use of web-based Open Badges to capture lifelong learning which may be unrecognised by traditional forms of credentialing – might be interesting to be explored by our sector.

Other initiatives developed by and for professionals in the creative industries are also worth looking into, such as ‘Clock your skills’ which promotes the validation of real-life work-based experiences and their transformation into qualifications.

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The ‘Academy for Theatre and Digitality’ in Dortmund, Germany

The Academy for Digitality and Theatre, a project of Theatre Dortmund, developed in partnership with the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the city of Dortmund, will be a place of digital artistic research.

Created in cooperation with the German Theatre and Orchestra Association and the German Theatre Technical Society it will be dedicated to digital innovation, artistic research and technology-oriented education for the artistic and technical staff of theatres.

The Academy will link partners from culture, science and economy - horizontally and internationally.

It will cooperate closely with innovative businesses and relevant research institutes. It will promote the development of original solutions for the rapidly growing needs of the performing arts in the fields of “Virtual Reality”, “Augmented Reality”, “Motion Capture”, “3D-Animation”, “Sensorics”, “Robotics” and “Artificial Intelligence”.
Activities will be launched in Spring 2019.

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Going mobile: new skills and pedagogy tools for broadcasters

EBU Academy is the training centre of the European Broadcasting Union. It evaluates the challenges faced by EBU Members (Public Service Media) and frames solutions in terms of learning and skills.

EBU Academy has four main targets: it offers innovative training programmes for executives, managers, experts, and internal teams in EBU Member organisations. It provides topical courses to address evolutionary disruptions. Finally, it builds sustainable programmes for Members either by solving a problem (creating national academies, training the broadcaster’s board, on-site workshops) or by gaining insight into problems and modelling them (through, for example, peer-to-peer reviews).

Digital technologies, digital strategies and the challenge of mobile devices and audiences are at the heart of the EBU Academy programme.

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Takeaways and the way forward

1. Identifying existing schemes at national and European levels

The offer of online learning and of blended learning (the combination of face-to-face teaching with online training tools) on topics relevant for our sectors keeps growing.

Such an offer can make training a lot more accessible and affordable for smaller businesses and independent workers. It can likewise connect professionals to an expertise not available in their region.

Innovative training formats (short videos, interactive tools, online coaching, etc.) can also make training more appealing for those who are more resistant to traditional classroom teaching.

In this context, a balanced approach regarding the time necessary to take online training and professional’s work schedules is important.

2. Online tools can also facilitate professional networking and recruitment

Online professional networks have become important recruitment spaces and new tools to validate skills are currently under development.

The cultural and creative industries, because of the specific mix of skills that are needed to create, market and distribute contents in the digital world, should engage with such tools in order to make sure they respond to the sectors’ needs.

Digital networks and platforms should also be used to share training needs and online training contents.

3. Research & Development is the way forward for the creative industries in the digital world

The Audiovisual and Live Performance sectors have the potential to be the driving force beyond the next generation of digital innovations.

To nurture their creative power in the digital world the cultural and creative industries can establish relevant partnerships with science and technology stakeholders, invest in research & development, support start-ups and all kind of project holders experimenting with new artistic and business ideas.

4. As drivers of innovation, the creative sectors need targeted support for digital skills development

The development of digital skills is one of the key priorities of the new Skills Agenda for Europe adopted by the European Commission in 2016. Digital skills acquisition is encouraged in schools, in further and higher education, across economic sectors, and for almost all types of workers. Because of the key role of the Audiovisual and Live Performance sectors in producing original and qualitative creative contents in the digital environment, targeted support to develop digital skills is needed.

At the same time taking advantage of existing cross-sectoral opportunities but also asking for support for the development of customised training solutions for our sectors are ways to move forwards.

With financial support from the European Union Publication prepared in 2019 in the context of a project which received support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views of the authors only and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.