New York-based film collective IFP is teaming up with the New YorkCity Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting and NYC BusinessSolutions to set up a workforce training pilot programme.

The Independent Film Training Grant Initiative will offeron-the-job training to freelance workers on independent productions and offerproduction companies grants to offset costs.

Eligible companies will be entitled to access the programme foronly one film project and can receive a maximum of $25,000 for a productionunder $3m.

The NYC Department of Small Business Services, which runs NYCBusiness Solutions, has allocated $150,000 in federal workforce training funds.IFP will administer the programme in conjunction with its affiliated ProducersGroup and the NYC Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting.

"This program represents an important partnership between the cityand the independent sector in supporting the industry," Tim Williams, IFP boardmember and steering committee member of the IFP Producers Group, said.

"This grant will contribute significantly to the strength of theindependent film sector based in New York City."

"New York City's production industry employs 100,000 New Yorkers,supports 4,000 local businesses and contributes $5bn to our economy on anannual basis," New York Film Commissioner Katherine Oliver said.

"By strengthening employment prospects for a diverse group of NewYorkers in the film industry, the Independent Film Training Grant Initiativewill nurture the City's creative community and assist us in attracting moreproduction business to New York."

Commissioner Oliver addedthat Mayor Bloomberg's Made in NY scheme, which launched last January andoffers tax credits and free advertising incentives, has already attracted morethan $500m in film and television business and created more than 6,00 jobs fornew Yorkers.