Oscar winning producer JudyCounihan has been appointed director of film at UK training body Skillset,responsible for driving forward A Bigger Future - the UK Film SkillsStrategy.

A Bigger Future, a joint initiative between Skillset and the UK FilmCouncil, is a five year, £50m strategy designed to revolutionise trainingand skills in the UK industry.

Launched in September 2003,the strategy covers everyone working in film in all grades from developmentthrough to exhibition. Key components of the strategy are a UK network ofSkillset Screen Academies which will see their first intake of students inSeptember 2005; a Skillset Film BusinessAcademy; a Skillset Guiding Lights mentoring scheme; short courses for theexisting workforce; structured new entrants schemes; and improved careersinformation, advice and guidance services.

Counihan's career as a filmand television producer spans 18 years, winning the Academy Award for BestForeign Language Picture twice, most recently for No Mans Land in 2001and for Antonia's Line in 1995.

Counihan said: "A BiggerFuture is a huge undertaking but the measures are realistic and have beenshaped by the people working in the UK Film Industry. I'm looking forward toworking with them to make it happen."

Stewart Till, CEO and chairmanof United International Pictures, and chair of the Film Skills StrategyCommittee responsible for implementation of the strategy, said: "Judy'sappointment gives the industry confidence that this strategy - A BiggerFuture - is, and shall remain, industry led. She brings to the tableenviable experience and knowledge, and an industry viewpoint that will beinvaluable in maximizing the impact we want to achieve."