Bookings are now open for Welcome Back – a new free event for creative professionals from BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) backgrounds on 5 November at BBC New Broadcasting House. An event delivered by BBC Academy in partnership with The TV Collective and Creative Skillset, it’s open to 50 BAME professionals seeking to return to the industry.
The BBC currently has 12.6% BAME Staff compared to an industry average of 5.4%, with a target of 14.2% BAME staff to be reached by 2017. However, the last Creative Skillset census found that in the industry as a whole “BAME representation has seen a decline from 12,250 in 2009 to 10,300 in 2012. BAME people represented 7.4% of the total workforce in 2006, compared to 6.7% in 2009 and 5.4% in 2012.”
With this statistic in mind, Welcome Back aims to inspire, equip and inform BAME professionals who are thinking about re-entering the industry with up to date knowledge. The event will also provide a chance to network with industry executives and to gain practical help, confidence and advice.
A packed day will offer a series of informative and insightful panel sessions, hands-on training and exclusive one-to-one networking opportunities with industry talent managers and series/executive producers.
Danny Cohen, BBC Director of Television, will open the day and sessions will give access to senior figures from broadcasters and indies talking on a variety of subjects, such as career strategy, the commissioning process and the business of television.
Speakers range from Sandy Smith, Executive Editor, The One Show; Jamal Edwards, CEO and Founder, SB:TV; to David Flynn, Chief Creative Officer, Endemol; Sanjay Singhal, Chief Executive, Voltage TV; and creator, writer and star of Citizen Khan, Adil Ray.
By the end of the day, delegates will have the contacts, information and all the tools to help them step back into television.
To attend Welcome Back delegates must be a BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) professional with a minimum of three years experience in any area of television or minimum three paid broadcast credits and must have been absent from the television industry for a minimum of one year.
Jo Welch, Diversity and Inclusion manager at Creative Skillset, said: “For Creative Skillset, training and development opportunities such as Welcome Back – which is particularly aimed at talent the industry has lost – have a clear impact in improving access and progression for diverse individuals. The day will enable them to become re-connected, with industry and each other, and empower them to make direct choices about their future career and skills development.”
Donna Taberer, Head of Public Service Partnerships, BBC Academy, said: “We are aiming to provide a supportive environment for delegates to seek advice from a broad range of industry executives and we want them to leave informed and up to date with the latest changes in the industry, as well as inspired to return to TV.”
Simone Pennant Founder & Director of The TV Collective said: “Over the years the industry has lost some absolutely fantastic talent, which has fuelled the diversity debate. This not only hurts them and hurts the industry itself. So we are very excited to be working with the BBC to help craft an event that gives lost talent the opportunity to re-establish themselves, learn about recent changes and explore what the industry now has to offer. Re-introducing talent back to the industry has the potential to be very powerful, and I am confident the industry itself will be much richer for it.”
For further information about the day’s events and how to apply go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy