Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Film Industry

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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215. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she can provide clarity on the meaning of the upskilling of audiovisual workers, as set out in the programme for Government, and the progress that has taken place on the delivery of this commitment since June 2020. [32167/22]

Photo of Catherine MartinCatherine Martin (Dublin Rathdown, Green Party)
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The Programme for Government had a commitment to support the upskilling of audio-visual workers. Upskilling refers to enhancement of skills for those already in the Audio-Visual workforce. My Department is working with Screen Ireland, the national agency for Irish film, TV drama, animation and documentary to ensure that there is a focus on training and upskilling at all levels of the industry and, crucially, as one of the criteria for the Section 481 film tax relief.

Screen Ireland has transformed the operation of the upskilling requirement of Section 481 tax relief in recent years.  Skills development opportunities are open to all: whether they be new entrants to the industry, trainees, upskillers, people receiving mentoring and shadowing opportunities, or people availing of skills courses. This inclusive approach introduced life-long-learning and allows people at all levels of a production to learn and progress.

To help ensure Skills Development Plans are appropriately delivered, a compliance stage at the end of production must be provided and in the case of larger productions (with eligible expenditure greater than €2m) must be signed off by Screen Ireland before the last 10% of the tax credit can be claimed.

In the last number of years, over 140 skills development plans have been submitted to Screen Ireland for approval and over 1,500 skills participants have been tracked on those productions.  As well as the skills development aspect of the Section 481 skills plan, producers are also encouraged through the Skills Development process to introduce both Sustainability initiatives and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives on their productions and this has contributed to significant positive changes within the sector.

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