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New BBC schemes encourage BAME talent

Two ambitious new leadership schemes to encourage better on and off-screen representation of the Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities in broadcasting were launched this week by the BBC.

Six talented people from BAME backgrounds are being sought to join the BBC’s ‘Senior Leadership Development Programme’, to get experience right at the very top of the BBC alongside Director-General Tony Hall and his senior leadership team, and help the corporation to become more representative of its audiences.

In addition to the ‘Senior Leadership Development programme’ the BBC have launched the ‘Assistant Commissioner Development Programme’ and is seeking six potential ‘Commissioners of the Future’ in entertainment, comedy, factual, daytime, children’s programming and across BBC Two and BBC Four.

The two schemes are a key part of Tony Hall’s drive to make sure the BBC represents every family and community in the UK, as well as being the first choice employer for people with creative ideas whatever their background.
BBC Director-General Tony Hall said: “I want the BBC to be the first choice for talented people, whatever their background. 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.”

Charlotte Moore, BBC One Controller, said of the launch of the Assistant Commissioner scheme: “It’s crucial for the BBC and other broadcasters to broaden the range of voices and backgrounds at commissioning level. This is a really great opportunity for people who, while they may already have experience of the industry, want to get involved with BBC Television at a more senior level. I passionately believe that schemes like this can have really positive impact both on screen and off.”

The successful candidates for the Senior Leadership Development Programme will undertake a 12-month training programme alongside one of the BBC’s board members, including Director-General Tony Hall and James Purnell, Director of Strategy and Digital.

The programme is in association with The Clore Leadership Programme, and is open to people from both outside and inside the BBC. The successful applicants will start in January 2015. The aim is to encourage those selected to consider and apply for careers as senior leaders in the broadcast industry.

The Assistant Commissioner Development Programme will train six potential ‘Commissioners of the Future’ in comedy, drama, factual, daytime and children’s programming and across BBC Two and BBC Four. There will be a 12-month paid development programme, targeting promising people from BAME backgrounds to deepen their understanding of commissioning and encourage them and others to put themselves forward for commissioning roles, at the BBC and elsewhere.

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