Creative Skillset, the skills body for UK screen, is working with the Armed Forces charity, Help for Heroes, to offer service personnel and veterans that have been affected by their military service the opportunity to forge a new career in film and television…

A pilot programme will be launched at the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre, Tedworth House, in Wiltshire this month with an introduction to how skills learned in the Armed Forces could be translated into behind-the-camera roles in screen.

The programme is the brainchild of Gareth Ellis-Unwin, the Oscar-winning producer of The King’s Speech, in his new role as Head of Film at Creative Skillset. It is supported by National Lottery funds awarded to Creative Skillset from the British Film Institute to deliver its Future Film Skills programme. The introduction will be delivered by the Guild of British Camera Technicians.

The initiative builds on connections made when Gareth was producing the 2014 film, Kajaki: The True Story, which told the story of a rescue mission to save soldiers injured by explosions in an unmarked minefield in Afghanistan in 2006. It led to Gareth becoming a Help for Heroes brand ambassador.

He met a number of those involved in the operation and says: “They were a very capable, bright group of young men, and whilst some were horribly injured, many still had the physical strength to commit to manual work. It struck me that anyone that could keep an armoured vehicle working in the desert could probably cope with the physical, technical and logistical demands of working in film.