Boosting skill sharing and intergenerational conversations

Today we hosted a film premiere at The Catalyst, showcasing a series of short documentary films which promote the important of intergenerational skill sharing: The Skills in Us.


Working in partnership with Newcastle-based creative film agency, Kaleidoscope CFA, this series of films, titled ‘The Skills in Us’, highlights the benefits of skill sharing between generations, and how learning from older people can help keep alive heritage skills, as well as be beneficial to employers by teaching transferrable skills to the younger generation such as problem solving, communication, and practical skills.

The premiere was followed by a discussion led by NICA on the themes raised in each film and an exhibition which gave the audience the chance to interact with the subject of each documentary, bringing the stories to life.

Kaleidoscope provided young filmmakers from the region to create this series of five short and emotive films that focus on North East people and the stories behind their specialist skills in fishing, textiles, cookery, blacksmithing and lace making.

Nic Palmarini, Director of NICA:

It is important that as a society, we recognise the importance of the ageing population, and the skills they have, to the future of our planet. Innovation takes place from lots of different perspectives, and the film series aims to capture that there is so much we can harness from the experience of our older generations.

We have a huge existing knowledge pool within our older generation, and by bridging the intergenerational gap we can not only empower young people with skills, tools and knowledge, but potentially support them into the world of work and subsequently contribute to the growth of the global economy.

The core purpose of this exhibition was to open a diverse dialogue between generations, connect people through storytelling and show learning in a visual and empowering way.

It’s vital that we engage with young people on this topic to help understand any barriers, contributions and links between the longevity of health and the economy. The insights that can be gathered from having a diverse representation of people feeding in to the future needs of markets for an ageing population, can support the innovation within businesses that is needed for the success and health of future society.

Craig Hawkes, Founder and Creative Director of Kaleidoscope CFA, added:

It was important that the essence of this project ran through every aspect of it, from production right through to the exhibition. Susie Davies, a recent graduate who we employed after a successful three-month internship, lead the project which was an excellent opportunity to extend the skill-sharing process, and is a tangible example of what can be achieved when generations work together and recognise value in each other.

It was fantastic to see our young trainees thrive in the working environment, and to have the opportunity to be involved in and lead this fantastic creative project. The highlight was hearing the stories of older individuals from across the North East, and seeing the trainees bring these to life in a spectacular and inspiring way.

The films will be released across NICA’s website and social media platforms, beginning Monday 22nd November with ‘Nadia’.