5,000 jobs and €1bn revenues tipped for Irish audio-visual industry

28 Jul 2011

Employment in the Irish audio-visual sector is expected to double from 5,000 to 10,000 and turnover to double from €500m to €1bn, according to a new report from the Irish Government.

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan, TD, has today welcomed a new report entitled Creative Capital, which identifies the Irish audio-visual sector as a pillar of Ireland’s creative industries and a major opportunity to deliver growth and jobs to the Irish economy over the next five years.

The report, published today, sets out a comprehensive set of recommendations which aim to double the turnover of the Irish audio-visual industry from €500m to €1bn, to double jobs in the sector from 5,000 to 10,000 jobs and to increase exports for the sector.

The 2008/2009 PricewaterhouseCoopers landmark survey, Ireland’s Audiovisual Content Production Sector Review, revealed that over the previous decade, the Irish audio-visual industry had achieved a critical mass and is now poised for major growth as a key sector in the digital economy.

Deenihan also announced today that the Government had approved the formation of a new interdepartmental committee with representatives from the Departments of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Department of Communications, Energy and National Resources, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Finance, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and a number of industry representatives, which will examine the feasibility of implementing the recommendations in the report.

Unlocking the potential of world-class talent

“The Irish audio-visual sector possesses world-class talent and this report is key to unlocking its potential,” Deenihan said.

“The coherent interdepartmental collaboration between the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform along with the industry itself, will be central to the success of achieving sustainable growth for the sector and the skills to build a sustainable export market.”

The chairman of the Steering Group for the Audiovisual Industry Strategic Review, Brendan Tuohy, said: “The recommendations in this report are the blueprint for the creation of 5,000 new, highly skilled jobs in the audio-visual industries.

“The ingredients for achieving international growth in the Irish audio-visual sector are in place and ready to be harnessed. The international audio-visual marketplace is valued at €30trn, with an increasing global demand for content.

“This report contains a series of recommendations that, if implemented in a timely manner by the Government and Irish-based audio-visual companies, has the potential to transform the Irish audio-visual industry and to exploit the international marketplace for maximum benefit to the Irish economy.”

Key pillars of Ireland’s creative industries

Reacting to the report, James Hickey, chief executive Bord Scannán na hÉireann (Irish Film Board) said, “The Creative Capital Report, which was published today, provides a major strategic plan with important priorities for the entire audio-visual sector and Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board (IFB).

“The report highlights great opportunities for the audiovisual production industry to create 5,000 new jobs, to double turnover to €1bn and to turn the sector into an export success story, building on the abundance of natural talent working in the sector.

“Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board looks forward to embracing these opportunities and working with all the other industry stakeholders to ensure that the Irish audio-visual industry fulfils the jobs potential outlined in this report and becomes one of the key pillars of the Irish creative industries,” Hickey said.

The key recommendations in the report are as follows:

1.       To develop the industry through ensuring continuous domestic and international production in Ireland and build strong Irish-based companies competing successfully in international markets.

2.       To develop the export potential of the industry through a strategic plan prepared by Enterprise Ireland, the IDA, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and Culture Ireland, which should include measured metrics for cultural exports, as well as economic ones.

3.       To develop high-end skills and talent through training and education based on up-to-date industry requirements and on the ground feedback from practitioners. To plan for future skills requirements for the industry working with third-level education, industry training bodies and Forfás on their ‘Future Skills Needs’ plan.

4.       To build a strong domestic production industry through increasing domestic demand for content and creating a Memorandum of Understanding between content producers and public-sector broadcasters.

5.       To mobilise Government and the industry to work together through the alignment of relevant government agencies and industry bodies to develop a national policy to achieve specific industry targets.

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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