Woman breaks into TV

Port Talbot woman breaks into TV thanks to Workways

A Port Talbot woman has broken into the film and TV industry with support from South West Workways and Tornado Films.

Louise Dyer has found employment in the film and TV industry with support from the EU backed South West Workways project and Tornado Films, a local production company.

Port Talbot based Tornado Films have produced a number of TV programmes and films in the local area. However, a recurring problem they encountered was that for certain skilled roles they were unable to recruit locally as there were no candidates with the skills the industry required.

As a result, Tornado and Workways collaborated to develop a Creative Industry Academy which would help a number of local people gain the skills needed to secure jobs in the film industry.

Tornado drafted job descriptions which would allow Workways to identify people interested in developing a career in film. Workways, which is backed with £12.6 million from the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government, then supported the suitable candidates to access Temporary Job Opportunities (TJOs) at Tornado. This allowed them to gain the required on the job experience.

Antony Smith, Producer and owner of Tornado Films, said: "None of this would have been possible without Workways. The Temporary Job Opportunities allowed the participants to become embedded in the company. Had it been a simple work experience project for a few days, there would have been no point as the amount of time we had to invest in training was significant."

Louise Dyer was one of the successful candidates. She was trained in the role of Production Runner.

With previous experience in local radio, it was Louise's goal to forge a career in media. However, as a working mother, she needed hours which would suit the care of her children. She was delighted to be offered a TJO. Whilst on her placement, she gained experience working on a film called The Darkest Day.

Louise has since gone on to gain employment as a runner on BBC's Casualty and Da Vinci's Demons, a major new international television series based on Leonardo Da Vinci's early life being filmed in and around Neath Port Talbot.

Louise said: "With the support from both Tornado Films and Workways, I have been able to explore a new career path in film & television. For anyone who is struggling to find employment in this current climate, I recommend speaking with Workways as they are able to help put you on the right path."

Antony of Tornado Films believes Louise has a bright future in the film and TV industry. He said: "When it comes to runners, if they're not up to scratch then the whole production can fall apart. Louise is very good at what she does. That's why she has gone onto bigger and better things."

Neath Port Talbot Council leader Ali Thomas said: "The Council is committed to bringing job opportunities to Neath Port Talbot and helping those who are out of work with training and skills development. Workways has provided valuable support in helping people access employment in the film industry."

Marjorie Bartlett, Workways Regional Project Manager, said: "Workways has supported over 1,400 people in Neath Port Talbot into a diverse range of career sectors. Over the last couple of years we have seen an increasing number of job opportunities in the film and TV industry in Neath Port Talbot. We believe it is important that we are able to help residents of Neath Port Talbot access these jobs."