Launched in London in 2013 with 11 companies taking part, this year’s Pact Indie Diversity Scheme sees 23 companies employing 23 young people from diverse backgrounds across London and Scotland.
Over the past decade, 60 companies have taken part in the Scheme, giving 133 young people the opportunity to enter the TV industry in positions such as programme co-ordinator, researcher and production assistant.
The Pact Scotland Indie Diversity Scheme, which is match-funded by Screen Scotland, is this month entering its fifth year, with eight companies specialising in factual taking part: Raise the Roof, Ricochet, STV Studios, Firecrest Films, Lion TV, Studio Something, BEEZR, Storyboard Studios Ltd.
As well as the eight-month paid placement with an indie, participants will take part in training including production bootcamps, CV workshops and a hands-on camera course, giving them the tools to help them throughout the next stages of their careers. Pact also continues support for the participants beyond their placements through an alumni group, offering regular online masterclasses and sharing job opportunities to help them to progress further.
Commenting on the 10th anniversary of the Scheme, Pact CEO John McVay said: “Despite the current challenges that indies are facing, the success of the Scheme shows that indies still see the importance of investing in and improving diversity and inclusion in the production sector.
“Across the 10 years the scheme almost 75% of the trainees have been retained in the industry. And a recent Pact member survey about diversity and inclusion within the TV industry showed that 91% of respondents said that diversity and inclusion will be very important or essential to their businesses over the next decade, showing how important schemes such as the Pact Indie Diversity Scheme are and will continue to be.
“I wish all of the new participants in this year’s Scheme the very best in their careers.”
Steven Little, Head of Production at Screen Scotland, said: “Screen Scotland is committed to growing a sustainable and diverse workforce for Scotland’s screen sector. We believe that a career in film or TV can be highly rewarding and one of our key aims is to make that opportunity as available, fair and inclusive as possible. Pact’s collaboration with Screen Scotland promotes these values and helps to make Scotland one of the most diverse and rewarding places to have a career in the screen industry.”
Pact Chair and MD of Raise the Roof Productions, Jane Muirhead, said: “For the sixth year in a row, Raise the Roof are really pleased to be part of the scheme in Scotland. The Pact team’s commitment to finding and bringing us the best diverse talent has shone through in the selection of candidates. I believe that this scheme is vital in supporting us in our aim to be a truly diverse and inclusive industry, and we are excited about the potential of the whole cohort to bring diversity of thought, experience, and stories to our industry. We look forward to supporting our trainee through the scheme and onward into a long-term television career.”