Trainees from diverse backgrounds given route into TV industry

A training programme has been launched to give young Scottish TV talent from diverse backgrounds a route into the industry.

Nine production companies including BBC Scotland will host a trainee researcher from an under-represented background as part of the paid 10-month course.

The Rad scheme from training provider TRC was open to those with a disability, from black, Asian or minority ethnic communities or from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Other companies taking part include IWC Media, Hopscotch Films, Matchlight, Raise the Roof Productions, Firecracker Scotland, Mentorn and Two Rivers Media.

James M Macleod was successful in applying and will go on a placement with Glasgow-based Blazing Griffin as part of the programme.

He said: “I have been looking for that first step into the TV and film industry for some time, but it has been a bit of a struggle.

“The go-to entry level position in most cases is as a runner but with physical issues such as mine that has been a daunting idea.

“Going for a job where disability is not only acknowledged but welcomed in such an upfront manner (along with other under-represented groups) was really encouraging, too.

“I was excited by the prospect of working with any of the companies involved.”

The programme is funded by BBC Nations and Regions, Channel 4, Scottish Enterprise, Screen Scotland and the Scottish Government’s Workplace Equality Fund.

BBC Scotland
BBC Scotland

Claire Scally and Margaret Scott, TRC joint managing directors, said: “Rad aims to tackle the lack of diversity in the Scottish television sector by creating new skilled jobs for diverse communities alongside providing training for production companies focusing on developing and sustaining equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

“We’ve worked closely with production companies, broadcasters, our funding partners and a wide range of organisations promoting inclusivity to devise and deliver what we feel is a very important programme for the production sector in Scotland.”

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The 10-month course will give trainees valuable first-hand experience and skills to build their careers through working full time at some of Scotland’s leading TV production companies.

“The screen sector is one which can lead the way in promoting equality and diversity – there has been progress in onscreen representation and we would urge the industry now to ensure that progress is being made off-screen as well.”