BBC North scheme to target trainees from poorer backgrounds

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The BBC has launched an initiative to help young people from low income families compete for future apprenticeships at MediaCityUK.

The training course, based in both London and Salford, is designed to level the playing field for 50 school students from socially diverse backgrounds. 

It is being developed with advice from social mobility charity The Sutton Trust and will help prepare 16 to 18-year-olds from less-privileged backgrounds to apply for apprenticeships, including the BBC Production, Digital Journalism and Broadcast Operations schemes, which start in September 2020.

Training will take place over 18 months, starting from September 2018. Research from the Sutton Trust has suggested that, across the UK generally, a disproportionate number of the country’s most prestigious apprenticeship places are going to teenagers from higher-income-backgrounds and older people.  

Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, said: “Social mobility matters, and that’s why I’ve made apprenticeships a priority at the BBC – opening the door to people from many different backgrounds.  

“We will only succeed in being the world-leading creative organisation we need to be if we seek out the brightest talent from the broadest range of backgrounds and allow no barriers to get in their way. 

“I’m proud that, working with The Sutton Trust, we’re going to provide this training for young people from the most deprived backgrounds so they can compete for the best apprenticeships and jobs.” 

Sir Peter Lampl, Founder and Chairman of the Sutton Trust, added:  “The Government’s target for apprenticeships to 2020 is three million.  We know that young people from low and moderate income backgrounds are much less likely than their peers to take up the most prestigious apprenticeships. 

“To make sure apprenticeships fulfil their potential as a vehicle for social mobility, it will be crucial to improve access to those that offer real alternatives to A-levels and degrees. The BBC’s new programme will play an important part by enabling more young people from low-income homes to access high-quality apprenticeships in the media.”