Screen Yorkshire and the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council have announced the first recruitment drive for an exciting new skills programme that has been designed to address a widespread lack of diversity and inclusion in the screen industries.
'Beyond Brontës' offers a bespoke package of support to enable young people (aged 18 – 24) from a diverse range of backgrounds and circumstances to overcome obstacles that may be facing barriers that have traditionally prevented them from entering the screen industries.
Sam Fray, 'Beyond Brontës' programme manager at Screen Yorkshire commented: “The screen industries are one of the least diverse sectors in the UK. This is in spite of a desire to be more representative of the population as a whole. Whilst there is strong interest in the film & TV production sector amongst our region’s young people, representation by ethnic minorities and those from working-class communities remains very low. ‘Beyond Brontës’ aims to address this by supporting young people to develop the skills, confidence and connections to succeed in the screen industries.’’
Laura Boswell, 4Talent, Channel 4 said: “The ‘Beyond Brontës' programme is a great example of the collaboration that is already underway between Channel 4 and partners in the region as we look to establish our new National HQ in Leeds later this year. We’re delighted to be working with Screen Yorkshire and Bradford Metropolitan District Council to create high-quality opportunities for young people from diverse backgrounds to begin their careers in the TV industry, which is a top priority for Channel 4. This initiative will support the region in developing a strong grassroots pipeline of talent, which will become a huge asset to the local production industry in the future.”
A report issued by Ofcom in 2018 revealed that while diversity was improving year on year, there is still a significant underrepresentation of disabled and minority ethnic individuals, within the UK's screen industries.
Roger Marsh OBE Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership says: “We live in a fantastically diverse region, one we are all proud of and would like to see reflected more widely on screen. ’Beyond Brontës’ is a groundbreaking programme to highlight new talent and nurture those wanting a career in the screen industries. Through our #futuregoals and #4sparks campaign, we’ve already seen huge desire from the next generation of young talent and we’ll continue to inspire and support young people from all backgrounds and all areas of our region to reach their future goals on screen or behind the camera.”
Rizwan Rehman, Cohesion and Inclusion Lead, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, said: '’We’re really excited by the way Beyond Brontes responds sensitively to the needs of young people, providing a 'pick and mix’ package of training and support which ensures that the programme is both flexible and bespoke to every individual taking part’’.
‘Beyond Brontës’ will offer targeted support to those wishing to enter the industry across a wide range of disciplines, including (but not limited to) make-up, set design, accountancy, editing or research. The programme will be tailored to the needs of the individual, with modules including internships, careers information, one to one support, training and mentoring. It is envisaged that each individual will participate in ‘Beyond Brontës’ activity for between 6 and 12 months, depending on desired outcomes and personal circumstances.
Developing talent to foster a skilled workforce is a central part of Screen Yorkshire’s growth strategy and 'Beyond Brontës' is part of a package of regional initiatives designed to help secure continued growth in film & TV production levels. It follows the news that Channel 4 is relocating to Leeds and the launch of Screen Yorkshire’s region wide Film Office last year.
Screen Yorkshire is working in partnership with the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council to deliver ‘Beyond Brontës’ with the support of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. Applications are open to young people aged 18 – 24 years old in the Leeds City Region area, which includes: Bradford, Leeds, Wakefield, Kirklees, Calderdale, Selby, Craven, Harrogate, York and Barnsley. For more information, visit www.screenyorkshire.co.uk.
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