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Lockdown opens up training opportunities

IN THESE GRIM and unsettling times, Zoom has transformed the way training is delivered and opened up opportunities to learn new skills - many free or highly subsidised.

London Freelance Branch set aside £300 so members could access national union courses in July for no more than £25 - matching what's on offer from colleagues in Scotland, where training courses are subsidised by the national government. The budget was well used - and drained nearly dry - flagging up the hunger to learn new skills in a market badly hit by covid19 - as jobs, contracts and titles disappear.

The BBC Academy has announced more free Lockdown Learning Zoom sessions, open to NUJ members, as part of the Federation of Entertainment Unions training for creatives - including actors, musicians and writers. On Tuesday 4 August at 13:30 there is a session on cutting a set-up sequence on Premiere Pro. On Thursday 6 August at 13:30 the session is about compliance and online rights. On Tuesday 11 August at 13:30 there is an event about creative thinking. On Tuesday 18 August at 13:30 the focus is on long-form story telling.

If you've booked for a course and can't make it, please cancel. A "no show" could rob another freelance of a chance to skill up. See the full course calendar at - the Federation of Entertainment Unions has more excellent online offerings, in addition to Lockdown Learning, all free to NUJ members.

London Freelance Branch members have already benefitted from subsidised Zoom courses on offer from the NUJ colleagues in Scotland and Wales. Check out and NUJ Training Cymru/Wales and to see what's on offer.

Many are craving the real-life meet-up and Zoom fatigue has entered the lexicon. But lockdown learning is helping many rethink how we can generate much-needed income. LFB hopes to provide a session on podcasting in some form in coming months - following the pre-lockdown branch survey, which showed it is what members wanted. Hamish Brown, who has a very good track record of providing such training in Scotland, has agreed to deliver a session for LFB. If you have ideas for the kind of training the branch should be delivering, let us know.