Channel 4 unveils 4Skills programmes
By David Wood
Channel 4 has unveiled the first tranche of its 4Skills initiatives designed to give career, development and training opportunities in the broadcast industry for people across the nations and regions.
The four schemes will provide real-life work experience and insight into a range of potential careers open to them within the broadcast industry.
The initiatives - the Channel 4 Production Trainee Scheme; Channel 4 Apprenticeships; 4Studio Placements; and the Aspiring Lawyers partnership - combined with more 4Skills projects to be announced later this year, will provide training, work experience and placements to more than 50 people.
Sinead Rocks, Channel 4's Managing Director Nations & Regions, said: "Providing opportunities to young people who might never have given a second thought to a career in the broadcast industry is precisely what Channel 4 should be doing.
"The impact of Covid on the career opportunities of young people has been especially damaging so it's vital that we work collectively with our partners to provide those entry level opportunities.
"It's so important that we reach out and tap into talent pools which are all too often ignored or overlooked. Seeking out the next generation of diverse talent is imperative for Channel 4 and the wider industry."
Channel 4 Production Training Scheme: Starting next month, at least 15 people will take up year-long, paid trainee positions with different independent production companies based in Bristol, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Criccieth (North Wales), Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester. During those 12 months they will undergo training boot camps, regular training sessions and mentoring, supported by ThinkBIGGER! while also gaining invaluable experience in their day to day roles with the indies. Another cohort of production trainees is planned to be in place for the autumn.
4Studio Paid Placements: Later this year, six people aged between 18-24 will take up placements with Channel 4's in-house digital studio, 4Studio. The allocation of the six placements as part of this new pilot scheme, is firmly focussed on offering opportunities to people in the region from diverse backgrounds, young people who might not typically consider a career in the broadcast industry. The successful candidates will take part in a 12-week fully paid programme consisting of six weeks' training with SharpFutures, a specialist social enterprise company supporting diverse young people into employment, followed by a six-week placement with 4Studio. The programme will include a wide range of training and twice weekly masterclasses.
Channel 4 Apprenticeships: In a separate initiative, 13 people have already joined Channel 4 in long-term apprenticeships based in Leeds and Manchester. The apprenticeships, ranging from 15 to 24 months, are fully paid and cover a wide range of specialisms within Channel 4's business - 4Studio; 4Creative; Agency Sales; Strategy & Consumer Insight; Finance; Communications/Pictures; Content Management/Programme Information; and Technology/Cyber Security. Recruitment will begin on the next cohort of Channel 4 apprenticeships over the coming months to start in September.
Aspiring Solicitors: Channel 4's Legal and Compliance department has also partnered with Aspiring Solicitors to offer mentoring and work experience for diverse candidates hoping to pursue a career as a lawyer or compliance advisor in the media sector. And to reflect Channel 4's commitment to the Nations and Regions, half of the places have been reserved for people outside of London. The partnership aims to help improve diversity in the sector and provide meaningful mentoring and/or work experience.
In addition to the Aspiring Solicitors partnership, Channel 4's Legal & Compliance team has recently launched a second free interactive training guide for production companies and producers.
Available on the 4Producers Handbook site, the latest module provides guidance on how best to work with the emergency services and follows the first resource which offers practical advice on making factual programmes.
These modules are designed to give producers the confidence to aim higher, develop more successfully and ultimately deliver creative, compliance programmes.
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