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ITV becomes inaugural partner on social mobility initiative

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ITV has partnered with Screenskills to support First Break, a new programme to help people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds break into television.

The broadcaster will offer placements to candidates on Coronation Street and Emmerdale at the conclusion of the initiative, which is a match-funded collaboration with ScreenSkills’ High-end TV Skills Fund.

“First Break is aimed at encouraging, nurturing and supporting people to consider a career in television and give them the tools, knowledge and taster experience to take their first steps in,” explained Kaye Elliott, ScreenSkills’ Director of High-end Television.

“We believe it will be a practical way of making TV more accessible to those without contacts, opening the industry up to people whose life experiences are not currently widely reflected in the television workforce.”

Initially, 100 candidates will be chosen to attend an Open Doors taster event to learn the basics about working in television and see what jobs are available. 40 will then be invited to a bootcamp and 10 of these will be selected for 5 days of paid full-time job shadowing on both ITV continuing dramas. 

 “ITV has made a public commitment to improve society representation on screen, as well as increase diversity and inclusivity behind the scenes. Partnering with ScreenSkills on this important initiative is key to helping us get closer to ensuring our workforce represents our audience, it’s a big goal but one we hope ‘First Break’ will help us get even closer to fulfilling,” said Trish Brady, Head of HR, ITV Studios UK.

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