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The Duke of York launches new Pinewood Studios Management Diploma

5 March 2013

HRH The Duke of York, KG visited Pinewood Studios to meet young apprentices working at the Studios and to launch the Pinewood Studios Management Diploma. The new diploma has been established by Pinewood to help train its current and potential Studio Managers in the UK and across its international network.

The Diploma will be delivered by Amersham and Wycombe College, with which Pinewood has a long established relationship and which currently administers many of the Pinewood Group’s current apprenticeships. The diploma has received partial funding from Creative Skillset - the body which supports skills and training for the creative industries.

The Diploma will equip candidates with everything they need to effectively run a world-class studio facility for the screen based industries. It will teach students about managing facilities, contractors, budgets and assets amongst others. The course has been developed by Pinewood in conjunction with Amersham and Wycombe College and will be rolled out to the wider industry in the future.

A steering group, chaired by Andrew Noakes, EON Productions, Associate Producer Skyfall (James Bond) and including Sarah Buckenham (Head of Production at Princess Productions) has been established to ensure that the course is directly meeting the needs of both film and television productions and to give first hand industry perspective. The course will be lead by Kas Lee.

His Royal Highness visited Pinewood Studios as part of his continued effort to promote and recognise businesses that support apprenticeship programmes and deliver excellence in continued in-work education.

During The Duke of York’s visit to Pinewood he met with Luke Moorcock and Maimunah Yahkup, digital apprentices working in Pinewood’s Digital Content Services department; Sam Healy, Drapes Apprentice; Jamie Garrett, Carpentry Apprentice; and Jonathan Ash, Wood Mill Machinist.

His Royal Highness also met with the first seven students to enrol on the course:

  • Kevin Bowen – Assistant Studio Manager
  • Dean Horne – Assistant Studio Manager
  • Emma Hardy – Operations Supervisor
  • Gemma Cross – Operations Supervisor
  • Patrick Wilbraham – Technical Operations Manager
  • Sasha Budzynski – Investment Finance Manager
  • Vicky Joy – Deputy Purchasing Manager

Andrew M. Smith, Director of Strategy and Communications for the Pinewood Studios Group said:

“We are so pleased that The Duke of York was able to launch the new Pinewood Studios Management Diploma. This is a really important initiative for the Company to ensure that we are training our staff to successfully and efficiently operate a world-class facility for our clients – no matter what part of the creative industries they are from. It is especially important, as our new studios around the world come online, to make sure that productions experience the same high level of quality they have come to expect from Pinewood in the UK.

“I am also thrilled that Andrew Noakes and Sarah Buckenham have agreed to sit on our steering committee to lend their experience and to make sure that we are responding directly to the specific needs and requirements of major productions.”

Gill Clipson, Principal & Chief Executive of Amersham and Wycombe College said:

“Amersham and Wycombe College has worked with Pinewood Studios for many years, training its apprentices. When the opportunity came up to strengthen our relationship by helping them to develop this new Management Diploma, we were thrilled; it’s fantastic for the College to be involved in this project and brilliant to see a major UK company investing in the training of its staff in this way.

“Our teachers also deliver this course and we are very proud that we are contributing to the success of Pinewood’s highly skilled and world-renowned workforce.”

Andrew Noakes said:

“I am really pleased to be able to chair the steering group for this new diploma and work with Pinewood on what I believe will be a really important course. For a production the size and scale of a Bond film we need as much control as possible and to put our trust in the day-to-day operations of the studios. We get that at Pinewood which is why it’s been the home to Bond for 50 years. The Studios are efficiently run and this is down to years of experience dealing with some of the very best productions. It is vital that this knowledge and experience is passed on to the next generation and I hope to be able to add my perspective and knowledge to this process.”

Dinah Caine OBE, Chief Executive of Creative Skillset, said:

“With the Government recently announcing new tax credits for high-end TV, animation and computer games, building on the success of the existing tax credit for film production, there is going to be significantly increased demand for facilities in the UK and it is critical that we have a strong skills base to support this growth.   I am delighted that Creative Skillset is able to support the development of a new Pinewood Diploma in Studio Management which will provide individuals with a unique opportunity to develop their skills at an internationally renowned studio, nurturing the next generation of industry leaders.”

IMAGE: HRH The Duke of York, KG meeting the first seven students to enrol on the new Pinewood Studios Management Diploma (photographed by Shane Dempsey).