The Screen Careers Perceptions Research Report offers valuable insights for our growing screen industry, with views from people both inside and outside the sector. 

The screen sector offers immense economic and employment opportunities for Auckland and New Zealand. Comprising film, television, gaming, visual effects (VFX), immersive technologies and digital content, the screen industry is significant in its scale and economic contribution.  

Auckland’s screen sector is booming, contributing $1.14 billion to the region’s GDP for the year ended March 2020 – this growth of 15.6 per cent was nearly double that of 2019, growing at a faster rate than the region’s total GDP. 

However, Auckland’s screen sector is facing a shortage of skilled workers, which may limit its growth and competitive advantage as an international screen destination.  

To better understand the views of those already working in screen and the prospective screen sector workforce, Screen Auckland, New Zealand Film Commission and Screen Wellington commissioned the Screen Careers Perceptions Research. 

Key findings 

The research revealed the following perceived benefits and challenges to working in screen, which may impact sustainable sector growth through its ability to attract, train and retain talent. 

Prospective screen workforce perceptions 

Perceived benefits of working in the screen sector: 

  • Creativity, learning and work recognition
  • Being part of a community and working with people who share the same passion and interests
  • The opportunity to work internationally and travel while working
  • The ability to work flexibility
  • The industry is seen as exciting, aspirational, progressive and always relevant 

Perceived challenges of working in the screen sector:

  • Limited understanding of screen career pathways and careers beyond film and television 
  • Little awareness of gaming, visual effects and immersive technologies, animation and digital content 
  • Limited understanding of prerequisite skills and qualifications, and how to get started 
  • Roles are not advertised and rely on word of mouth and shoulder-tapping 
  • Perceived lack of job security and income continuity 
  • Perceived poor working conditions and practices 

Current screen workforce perceptions 

Perceived benefits of working in the screen sector: 

  • Opportunities to be creative and pursue a personal passion 
  • Enjoyment of the type of people they get to work with 
  • Opportunities to experiment, innovate and practise their craft 
  • Plenty of opportunities within a growing sector

Perceived challenges of working in the screen sector: 

  • Lack of job security and no continuity of work and income, including poor remuneration 
  • Long hours, tough and demanding work, including a bad workplace culture 
  • Work opportunities are not advertised or filled through shoulder-tapping 
  • No obvious or established career pathways 

General public perceptions:  

Perceived benefits of working in the screen sector: 

  • It’s creative, technical, fun and exciting 
  • Working with people who share the same passion or interests 
  • Opportunities to work internationally

Perceived challenges of working in the screen sector: 

  • Screen has a narrow definition – limited to film and television 
  • Intense competition for jobs 
  • Stress and pressure of workload 
  • Long or unsociable hours and having to spend time travelling away from home or family 
  • Lack of job security, including no continuity of work and income 
  • Reliance on contacts or networks to enter or advance in the sector 
  • Not enough experience, lacking the right skills or qualifications

What will the research be used for? 

Insights from the Screen Sector Careers Perceptions research will be used to: Help inform screen sector workforce development; support sector employers, educators and training providers to better forecast and plan for future demand; develop strategies and plans to attract and retain talent, and improve sector capacity and capability to meet the increased global demand for content.  

Screen Auckland will continue to work alongside partners to share research insights and support industry-led approaches to addressing sector and workforce challenges.   

If you have any questions about this research, please contact Skills Programme Specialist, Lisa Endersby.