Sky has today opened the doors to Sky Skills Studios – a pioneering new educational facility which will invite up to 12,000 young people per year to experience the excitement of a behind-the-scenes TV production environment.

Sky Skills Studios will be used by students aged eight to 18, from across the UK and Ireland, and will provide teachers with a relevant and valuable resource free of charge.


The new facility is designed to be a fun and interactive learning experience for students. The aim is for the different and new environment to inspire young people to learn more about TV production, as well as help develop and build important life skills such as creativity, communication, problem solving and team work, whilst also raising their aspirations and career ambitions.


With the launch of Sky Skills Studios, young people will be given the opportunity to write, shoot and edit their own television report in one of four simulated ‘live’ studio environments, using real-life HD cameras, editing desks, green screens and props. The final reports will then be topped and tailed with clips from Sky presenters.


The three-hour experience will give teachers and students the choice of a range of topic areas to work with, planned around five national curriculum areas (English, Maths, Science, Citizenship and P.E.) at key stage levels 2, 3 and 4.


The brand new facility was conceived and developed in-house and uses exactly the same broadcast equipment and technology as Sky’s own TV crews, providing a rare practical insight into the world of TV for young people. A dedicated production team is also on hand to provide technical support and help polish the final footage before it is broadcast ‘live’ to the group.


Sky Skills Studios will be based in Sky Studios, the most sustainable broadcasting facility in Europe. Located in West London, Sky Studios began broadcasting in July 2011 and is home to eight naturally ventilated studios including five HD studios, 45 edit suites, 14 voice-over suites, four audio suites and on site post-production facilities. Arranged over five levels, with each floor the size of a football pitch, Sky Studios has been designed so that all of Sky’s sport and news programming can be filmed, edited and transmitted within a single facility. Sky has invested approximately £233 million in the facility.


Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive, Sky, said:


“Television has always been an exciting industry to work in and is especially appealing to young people. With the opening of our new broadcast facility, Sky Studios, there was a natural opportunity to develop a dedicated studio space for schools, giving pupils the chance to learn more about what happens behind the cameras.


It’s incredibly important that business plays its part in inspiring and supporting young people in learning more about the world of work and helping them to build valuable life skills.


We’re really pleased to be opening Sky Skills Studios and I hope the experience will help to expand the horizons of the 12,000 school pupils who come through our doors over the coming months.”


Local London schools have taken part in testing the facilities over the course of the summer and Kerry Dunford, Year 6 Teacher, Wix Primary School, London said: “To say that the children enjoyed this experience would be an understatement. I would recommend the Sky Skills Studios to all teachers, not only because it is a unique and totally engaging experience but also because of the wider educational opportunities that the children are exposed to.”


Sky Skills Studios builds on a series of Sky initiatives designed to support young people. Other initiatives include Sky Sports Living for Sport, a free scheme for secondary schools that offers mentoring from sports stars and the Sky Rainforest Rescue Schools Challenge a primary and secondary schools initiative that teaches young people about the rainforest and encourages environmental awareness.
Over the past year, through the MAMA Youth Project, Sky has also sponsored 12 people aged 16-25 from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds to undergo hands on training and real-world experience working on a Sky production.


Teachers can register school groups to take part in the Sky Skills Studios experience at: www.sky.com/skills