Skillset Employment Engagement Manager, Course Leader MA Media Production
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Caroline Officer is an award-winning series producer who spent 18 years in television production, initially at the BBC and later at Endemol Entertainment.
As the first series producer of 'Ready Steady Cook', she was part of the small production team who devised the innovative lifestyle factual entertainment genre that produced the global hits, 'Changing Rooms' and 'Ground Force' and the rise of celebrity chefs, gardeners and interior designers.
In 2005, she identified the rise of rich online content and created a digital media company, producing short form films for travel companies and charities.
Caroline joined Birmingham School of Media in 2009, initially to manage its status as a Skillset Media Academy - a role she retains in addition to leading the MA Television Production course. She is currently developing a range of short courses for industry professionals; this role allows her to continue engaging with a broad range of industry contacts.
As Skillset Employment Engagement Manager, it is Caroline's role to involve the University in developing creative industries regionally and nationally in an innovative and meaningful way. Skillset is an industry body that supports skills and training in the creative sector.
Caroline and her colleagues at Birmingham City University and at Skillset are leading the way in digitising Britain, developing creative ideas for Digital Britain, an initiative which aims to get the entire population access to at least 2MB broadband. Caroline's work with colleagues across the University involves devising solutions to enable those who will deliver the training for Digital Britain to have the professional expertise and technical know-how they need.
"This is a very tangible project that will lead to something positive across the whole country. As a University, we can offer solutions to Digital Britain. We could steer the way people are thinking. This will set the agenda for some time; it's about engaging industry and having closer links with media companies and using their skills."
Caroline has set up a production hub within the School of Media, which coordinates the allocation and manages the delivery of external project work and placements to students.
"We have 400 undergraduate students and there is a great emphasis on them gaining work experience and we also get many requests every week about opportunities for students. It is important that we should centralise these requests and ensure they are dealt with professionally and orchestrated carefully. Skillset hasn't heard of a department doing this before, but it is a great way of engaging industry and getting them involved. It will be a more symbiotic link."