The Prince, who is patron of the Royal Television Society, was speaking at the first annual Craft Skills Masterclass on 30 October, where students from 12 different higher education institutions were coached in sound, editing and camerawork by leading industry professionals.
The masterclass, explained the Prince, was “really all my fault – yet another example of what The Guardian obligingly refers to as interfering or meddling”.
Appearing in a number of documentaries had left him with huge respect for the “hidden army of unsung heroes behind the cameras”, he added. Yet a recent report by the industry body, Creative Skillset, had “highlighted significant skills shortages across all forms of production. In essence, there are too few designers, mixers, editors, costume supervisors, camera and boom operators and digital imaging technicians,” he continued.
Alerted to the problem by a producer, the Prince had persuaded Theresa Wise, chief executive of the RTS, to organise an event “to highlight the craft skills shortage and offer some training”.
He was also “delighted” that the RTS was now “extending its educational remit with the launch of twenty new bursaries” specifically aimed at “widening participation in our media and related industries”. The students selected would also receive free membership of London’s Hospital Club, which was hosting the event, and a year’s free membership of the RTS after graduation.
The bursaries, worth £3,000 each, are for students from less affluent backgrounds on courses in television production and related digital media.