Pact launches 2019 edition of Diversity Training Scheme for Scotland

Pact has announced the launch of its second Scottish Indie Diversity Training Scheme. Eight young people from diverse backgrounds will undergo paid, six-month work placements with eight Scottish independent production companies, including Raise the Roof, STV, Caledonia TV, bees nees media, IWC, Tinopolis, Lion (all3media) and Firecrest.

The six-month initiative brings new talent into the industry, targeting trainees from diverse backgrounds currently under-represented in TV (BAME, LGBT, women, disabled people, and people from lower socio-economic groups). It provides them with their first paid opportunity in the TV industry, as well as training and mentorship to help ensure they can sustain a career in the industry well beyond the scheme.

Additional funding from Screen Scotland, supporting this year's Scottish scheme, has enabled smaller independent production companies to take part and help nurture a diverse pool of talent in Scottish TV production.

The trainees on this year’s Scottish Scheme will gain invaluable experience in:

  • Assisting with kit on location
  • Researching information to support the creative process
  • Helping production teams as an office-based Runner
  • Logging material for editing
  • Looking after talent

In addition, the trainees will receive:

  • Bespoke training covering essential skills including survival guides for researchers and freelancers, camera operation, casting and development
  • A senior industry mentor at the production company where they are placed
  • Peer-to-peer networking opportunities with the other participants on the Scheme

The aim is to ensure that all trainees gain a better understanding of how the TV industry works, and what role they might want to pursue within it. By the end of their placements, they will have started to make meaningful industry connections, and have developed some of the skills needed to thrive in a professional environment.

Hearing from the trainees

“I'm getting experience and guidance in a great environment, and it's down to the scheme for giving me a leg up. I hope to learn more about the workings of the television industry of course, but it'll be amazing to learn what really goes into making entertainment and learning how to effectively contribute to that.” Lauren McCreadie, Trainee, Tinopolis

“I was attracted to the scheme as it was aimed at entry-level applicants. I have found the industry to be challenging to enter and appreciated that the scheme focused on diversity as I found this another barrier that hindered me. I like that it offered scope in its positions, so I was able to find a role that suited my skills.” Aspi Witana, Trainee, STV

“I hope to gain a thorough understanding of how ideas are transformed into productions, a range of practical skills and a clear idea of my own strengths within the field; ultimately providing a solid platform from which I can carve out my own path in television.” Haider Shybani, Trainee, Caledonia TV

Comments from the production companies

“The Pact Diversity scheme is a great opportunity for trainees to get a foot in the door and grab their first break in the industry. As employers, it chimes with our diversity policy, enriching our team while also providing us with the chance to invest in the talent of tomorrow. Working in a joint effort with Pact, we can arm our trainees with the best skills to prepare them for a career in our industry, which can only be a good thing for everyone involved.” Alasdair MacCuish, Managing Director, bees nees media

“We’re delighted to be a part of the Pact ITDS scheme. It’s a really exciting time for the industry in Scotland and this initiative is a key step in boosting the diverse talent poll here.” Nicole Kleeman, Managing Director, FirecrestFilms

“Raise the Roof are delighted to be participating in Pact’s Diversity Training Scheme Scotland. It’s vital to the growth of our company and the sector that we introduce a wider range of voices. This will contribute to better on-screen content and ensure a healthier working environment.” Jane Muirhead, Managing Director, Raise the Roof

The Indie Diversity Training Scheme was launched in Scotland in 2017, but the programme has been Pact's flagship new talent initiative across the UK since 2013. To date, Pact has supported 80 promising individuals, helping them to take first steps in the TV industry.

Alumni from the 2017 Scottish Indie Diversity Training Scheme

One year after completing the 2017 Scottish Scheme, four of the six Scottish trainees were still working in the independent production sector, the fifth was working as a Production Trainee with the BBC, and the sixth was working in cinema exhibition.

The scheme's alumni have gone on to work with a range of indies on programmes including Antiques Road Trip, Britain At Low Tide, The World's Wildest Weather, Emergency Helicopter Medics, and Coast vs Country.

About Pact

At Pact, the team is passionate about improving diversity within the media industry. Pact offers resources, advice, industry information, a toolkit, and practical support to both companies and individuals. Pact works collaboratively with its members and with broadcasters to ensure that inclusion is at the very heart of their businesses.

For more information about Pact’s commitment to diversity, please contact Head of Diversity, Anjani Patel at anjani@pact.co.uk.