Only 5% of the broadcast industry is BAME opposed to 12.5% of the rest of the population. And even amongst this white majority, not many will come from a disadvantaged background. As experts in the industry for 25 years, we’re well aware of the increased pressure the broadcast industry is under to increase ethic and social diversity. And I agree it’s an issue that should not be ignored.
At Procam we work tirelessly to ensure that we are doing everything we can to improve the social diversity of our team. For me, it’s not about someone’s background, education or ethnicity. If someone can show me that they have the willingness to learn and commitment to succeed, then they deserve a chance.
To do this, we often work with companies to help us promote diversity from entry level. For example, we recently partnered with the MAMA Youth Project, a charity dedicated to giving 16-25 year olds from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds hands on training and real-world experience in the broadcast industry.
It’s inspiring to witness the dedication of the young people on MAMA Youth Project’s 12 week training programme as the trainees join a five-day on-site training programme learning about our range of cameras and taking bookings on the bookings desk. In fact, we’ve been so impressed that those who show promise during their time with us will be interviewed for a full time role at Procam.
This year we also had the opportunity to sponsor the Edinburgh Television Festival’s ‘Network’ for the eighth year in a row. The 2014 Network consisted of 50 delegates whittled down from 1000 applicants who are all keen to work in the television industry. We provided cameras, audio and technical assistants to give trainees experience of real-life filming situations. We currently have some great Network graduates working at Procam, which demonstrates just what opportunities this provides.
Ultimately, we want to give people the skills they need for a lifelong career and access to our in-house training programme ensures this. Young people often come to us without any previous experience or qualifications but leave with a book of contacts and the skills necessary for a career in television.
These are just a few steps in our long term plan to improve social diversity in the broadcast industry. I truly believe that the industry will benefit from previously untapped talent if we look beyond formal qualifications and background, to see the passion and ability people can offer.
John Brennan, Group CEO of Procam