TheSkills Investment Fund (SIF), the UK film training levy, is to become amandatory payment for producers from next year.

SIF is currentlyvoluntary and is collected by training body Skillset. It sees productions shooting in the UKcontribute 0.5% of their budgets up to a maximum of £39,500 into a fund tosupport training and education for film crews.

So far the SIFlevy has raised £3.2m from over 260 films such as Batman Begins, Vera Drake andBullet Boy.

The move towardmandatory payment follows a consultation process with the industry that tookplace from 8 March to 31 May.

John McVay, chiefexecutive of producer's body Pact, commented: "Our members support thelevy becoming mandatory. It will mean that productions that do contribute areno longer subsidising those that don't. In future all financiers will have toinclude the levy as a budget line item."

It is expected to takeapproximately 12 months for the levy to become mandatory and will involveparliamentary approval - a move supported by the government.

Dinah Caine, chief executiveof Skillset, said: "Nurturing and training talent is recognised by industry asa top priority and they are wholeheartedly committed to it."

John Woodward, chiefexecutive officer of the UK Film Council, added: "Thisis a boldandlong term commitment to skills training from the UK productionsectorand itspeaks of a confidentindustry capableoflooking beyond the 'quick fix' and focused onthe prospects forasustainableand stablefuture."