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C4 unveils 4Skills training programmes

UK pubcaster Channel 4 has unveiled the first tranche of its 4Skills initiatives, designed to give people across the country’s nations and regions career, development and training opportunities in the broadcast industry.

Sinead Rocks

The first four schemes – 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 across the nations and regions.

The Channel 4 Production Training Scheme starts next month and will see at least 15 people take up year-long, paid trainee positions with different independent production companies based in Bristol, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Criccieth in North Wales, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

During those 12 months, the participants will undergo training boot camps, regular training sessions and mentoring.

Under the Channel 4 Apprenticeships programme, 13 people have already joined the broadcaster 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 C4’s business: 4Studio, 4Creative, agency sales, strategy and consumer insight, finance, communications/pictures, content management/programme information and technology/cyber security.

Recruitment will begin on the next cohort of C4 apprenticeships over the coming months to start in September.

The 4Studio Paid Placements programme, meanwhile, will see six people aged 18 to 24 take up placements with C4’s in-house digital studio, 4Studio, later this year.

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 allocation of the six placements is focused on offering opportunities to people in the regions from diverse backgrounds and young people who might not typically consider a career in the broadcast industry.

Through the final scheme, the Aspiring Lawyers Partnership, C4’s legal and compliance department has partnered with advice and mentoring firm 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.

The partnership aims to improve diversity in the sector and provide meaningful mentoring and/or work experience. Half of the places have been reserved for people outside of London.

Sinead Rocks, C4’s nations and regions MD, 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 that are all too often ignored or overlooked. Seeking out the next generation of diverse talent is imperative for Channel 4 and the wider industry.”

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