BBC schemes to boost BAME involvement in broadcasting launched.
Six places are available on the Senior Leadership Development Programme, offering experience alongside BBC head Tony Hall and his leadership team.
“The launch of these two leadership programmes is an important step towards a more open broadcast industry. We’re working with some very exciting partners on this – and I’m convinced that together we’ll make a tangible difference.”
The successful candidates for the senior leadership scheme will be given 12 months of training alongside one of the BBC’s board members, including director general Lord Hall and James Purnell, director of strategy and digital.
The programme is open to people from both outside and inside the BBC, with successful applicants starting in January 2015. The aim is to encourage those selected to consider and apply for careers as senior leaders in the broadcast industry.
BBC targets call for around one in six people (15%) on-air to be from BAME backgrounds within three years – an increase of nearly 5%. The 15% target would be across all BBC television output including news, drama, comedy and documentaries. Lord Hall said BBC News had set local targets in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leicester to reflect the population.
Performer Lenny Henry gave a lecture at Bafta, saying the BAME presence in the creative industries is 5.4%. He called it “an appalling percentage because the majority of our industry is based around London where the black and Asian population is 40%.”
Henry added that the situation behind the camera was also “patchy” and that between 2006 and 2012, the number of black and Asian people working in the industry had gone down by 30.9%.
In 2008, he told the Royal Television Society: “When I started, I was surrounded by a predominantly white workforce, and 32 years later, not a lot has changed.”