Channel 4 launches training schemes for young people 'often ignored or overlooked'

Channel 4 is offering young people from a diverse range of backgrounds the opportunity to break into a career in broadcasting through new training and apprenticeship schemes.

Sinead Rocks, Channel 4’s Managing Director Nations & Regions, said the new training and apprenticeship schemes will help people "too often ignored or overlooked" by the industry

The broadcaster, which has set up a new national headquarters at the Majestic in Leeds city centre, says the four schemes will provide valuable training and work experience to 50 people.

Sinead Rocks, Channel 4’s Managing Director Nations & Regions, said: “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.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

“It’s so important that we reach out and tap into talent pools which are all too often ignored or overlooked.”

Sinead Rocks, Channel 4’s Managing Director Nations & Regions, has announced the launch of four training and apprenticeship schemes

Next month, 15 people will take on paid trainee positions for a year, as part of the Channel 4 Production Training Scheme, and they will work with independent production companies based in cities such as Leeds, Manchester, Bristol and Belfast.

Zahra Aliyyah Khan, who will join The Garden in Leeds for a 12-month placement, said: “Prior to Channel 4’s move to Leeds, anyone studying TV production in the north would have to move down south if they wanted any chance of a career in TV.

“Securing a place on the scheme and having the chance to learn from so many talented people in television is a dream come true as I get to experience a year in a role that I have always wanted.

“Growing up in Bradford in a multicultural society, I want to use my voice to give under-represented communities a chance to have themselves heard without feeling misrepresented or stereotyped.”

Another 13 have already joined the broadcaster, on apprenticeships based in Leeds and Manchester that last up to two years and cover a range of specialisms, including content management, sales, finance and cyber security.

Later this year, six people aged between 18-24, from a wide range of backgrounds, will take up placements with Channel 4’s in-house digital studio, 4Studio.

And Channel 4’s Legal and Compliance department has also teamed up with Aspiring Solicitors to offer mentoring and work experience to people looking to begin a career as a lawyer or compliance adviser in the media sector.

Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Leeds City Council and chair of Channel 4’s Partnership Board, said: “One of the many reasons we were so keen for Channel 4 to bring its new national HQ to Leeds was the knowledge that its presence here would mean increased employment, training and development opportunities for residents in the city and the wider region.

“The 4Skills initiatives are a perfect illustration of what can now be achieved and will hopefully open a door to the broadcast industry for talented and creative young people who might otherwise have been left on the outside looking in.

“It’s also gratifying to see the support that 4Skills is getting from independent production companies in Leeds, as it’s exactly this kind of collaborative and cohesive approach that will underpin our recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”