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£3m drive to increase diversity in media industries
A new programme of initiatives to tackle diversity in the media has been launched by Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the audio visual Industries, and the UK Film Council.
Over £3m funding will enable over 20 projects to take place across the UK. The projects are designed to foster creativity and develop industry skills, knowledge and experience, and include mentoring schemes, showcasing and networking events, work placement schemes and graduate fellowships.
The projects are part of the Audio Visual Entrepreneurship (AVE) programme which has been launched to support individuals from groups currently under represented within the media including women, people with disabilities, black & ethnic minorities, older people and young people from economically disadvantaged areas.
Dinah Caine, Skillset's chief executive, said: "This programme of innovative training and development initiatives is crucial to tackling diversity in the audio visual industries.
"By broadening the wealth of experience of our workforce we are tapping into an invaluable supply of creativity and talent which is essential so that our industries flourish in the future.
"By having a workforce that is representative of its diverse audience, it will make us, as the audio visual industries, more in tune and responsive to our audience's needs."
Trevor Phillips, Skillset patron and chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, hosted the AVE launch event in London last week. He said: "The media industries play a key role in telling our national story and contributing to a genuinely inclusive society, which is why representation within the workforce is so important.
"It is hoped that the AVE Programme will have a profound effect on the careers of the individual beneficiaries as well as helping our industries as a whole to successfully address the diversity issues they are facing."
One of the projects, Compass Point from the National Film & Television School is aiming to develop 32 aspiring BME media creatives via skills training, business planning, project realisation and mentoring from industry figures. Another project, the Research Training Scheme from Cyfle is an intensive 6 month training scheme designed to provide a thorough understanding of the programme making process.
John Woodward, chief executive of the UK Film Council, said: "The AVE Programme is a collective approach by the industry to find solutions to the diversity issues we face.
"It provides an umbrella for a series of unique and varied projects being planned and delivered by a wide range of partners from across the media industries and across the UK.
"It will help to make our industries more inclusive, providing individuals with new skills and assisting with entry routes into the industry."
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