27 February 2024

Our most popular training initiative has been our introduction of FREE unlimited 'Masterclass' course subscriptions to all staff and directors. This initiative has an uptake of 70% overall, with many people taking multiple courses ad lib.

The Sweetshop


The Sweetshop :

The Split second Film Competition'. Our Australia office mentored 2 up and coming directors to direct their winning ideas. Winner Sati Öcal and runner-up Amon Mether; were supported and mentored by our own director Max Barden. This competition saw us collaborate with Australian B Corp Certified agency TABOO and the local Transport Accident Commision (TAC) to produce two road safety films.

Working with Iconic Steps and the London Screen Academy, the Sweetshop UK continue their 'Diverse New Entrant scheme', offering paid work and training on set, on every UK production. Each new applicant is then supported after the shoot in developing their skills and pursuing future employment in the industry.

Working with the Advertising Producers Association (APA) Executive Producer Morgan Whitlock spoke to a panel of aspiring industry entrants from social organisation Iconic Steps. The seminar focused on path- ways into professional employment within the advertising production sector, and advice and insights into how to succeed within it.

Executive Producer Morgan Whitlock from our UK office contributed to the LIA’s Creative LIAsons programme, mentoring 3 young people working in the industry through online meetings and support and guidance over a year.

Whenever possible The Sweetshop looks for pathways for our young employees to step up into roles they aspire to, and learn from their experiences, for example:

The Game of Our Lives TVC - Promoting women in sports, was produced with agency 180 Amsterdam and Directed by our NZ Director's assistant and director Semisi Ma’ia’i.

UK Homeless charity 'Centrepoint' shot their 2023 christmas campaign with our UK director Nicholas Jack Davies. The Sweetshop UK's Production Co-ordinator David Maart stepped up to produce the film, with support from UK Directors Assistant Azeez Bello and executive producer Morgan Whitlock. The ad was created by agency Wonderhood Studios.

The Sweetshop Entertainment:

In September 2022, Sweetshop Entertainment agreed to participate in the NIU WAVES initiative which was funded by NZ on Air and supported by PISA (Pacific Islanders in Screen Industry) to help support emerging Pacific filmmakers to take projects to broad- casters. We were partnered with a Samoan director, Damon Fepulei and are now in development with him on a 6 part Samoan crime comedy series DEAD LOSI which has been supported by TVNZ.

In December 2022, Sharlene was asked by PISA (Pacific Islanders in Screen Industry) to mentor emerging Cook Island writer/director Josh Teariki Baker. As a result of this, we have since been successful in receiving development funding for his seabed mining documentary with NZ on Air and are in the process of applying for production financing for a one hour documentary on seabed mining called “Beneath the Moana”

Our co CEO Sharlene George taught a workshop on “Running a sustainable production company” at the NZ Film Commission Business Sustainability Conference who hosted 15 NZ production companies.

Sharlene is also mentoring emerging Māori business owner from Jason Taylor (Tai Huri Films) to help him grow his business and assist in business development and forecasting.



The Sweetshop has a dedicated budget for ad hoc and cross-training opportunities.

Some examples of training offered include Masterclass subscriptions and AdGreen Environmental training. treatment design & layout training, web safety, and we also held a financial health session in 2022 run by our Financial Controller Scott Patterson


Each office has begun hosting bi-monthly ‘lunch n learn’ sessions where any team member can volunteer to share a skill with the office, and The Sweetshop provides a delicious lunch. These sessions are not your typical meetings—they're lively and informal and usually include a ton of laughs.


Our revamped onboarding process for new employees is now significantly more thorough, featuring a formalized structure aimed at eliminating any gaps in training or understanding. We provide comprehensive guidance on our business operations, culture, growth opportunities, and commitment to social and environmental goals.

After the initial training and onboarding period, we conduct a thorough review at the three-month mark to identify and address any remaining training needs. This review process continues annually thereafter, ensuring that our employees remain engaged and satisfied with their roles within our organization.