ITV to offer work on soaps to people from poorer backgrounds

ITV is to offer work on Coronation Street and Emmerdale to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The broadcaster is aiming to create career opportunities for people from challenging circumstances seeking a career in television.

ITV will take part in the First Break programme to offer a demystifying introduction to TV for those lacking contacts in the industry.

Successful candidates will earn short, paid placements on ITV soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

The First Break initiative is led by organisation ScreenSkills, which aims to guarantee that the UK screen industry has access to the talent it needs.

Trish Brady, head of human resources at ITV Studios UK, said: “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.”

First Break candidates, 100 in total, will be given a taster event offering an introduction to the TV industry.

From there, 40 candidates will attend a boot-camp for skills, offering an insight into trade knowledge from chains of command to on-set etiquette and handling equipment.

Finally, 10 candidates will be selected for five days of paid full-time work shadowing on Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

Kaye Elliott, of ScreenSkills, said: “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.”

- Press Association

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