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BBC jobs reserved for ‘diversity’ candidates

Youth Media

Written By: Ben Endley  | 2/2/16

THE BBC is set to offer writing jobs on its top drama shows exclusively to candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds, women and the disabled.

Bosses will next month create two assistant script editor roles in its drama division working on hit shows such as EastEnders, Holby City, Doctors and Casualty.

The successful applicants will not need any experience in the industry and will be mentored by national head of drama Polly Hill. The opportunities will be limited to female candidates, those with disabilities and those from black, Asian or other ethnic minority backgrounds.

BBC head of drama (North) Hilary Martin said: “Assistant script editor is a role that sometimes gets squeezed but it is a really important role to learn your craft and one we feel could be a really amazing jumping-off point for diverse talent.”

The assistant script editors will spend six months working in production on a long-running drama or original drama and then another six months in development.

It is not clear how much the jobs will pay but similar positions have been advertised with a salary of between £25,000 and £37,000 a year.

After a one-year fixed-term contract, the editors – one based in London and the other in Salford, Glasgow, Birmingham or Cardiff – are likely to be given the chance to progress.

Ms Martin said: “This is a new opportunity for new talent to break into the BBC and grow a career.”

In August, BBC’s drama division established a directors’ mentoring scheme also aimed at women, the disabled and people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The BBC had been criticised by Conservative MP Philip Davies over its “racist” hiring policies. Speaking in 2014, the MP for Shipley, West Yorks, said: “The true racists are people who see everything in terms of race when what we should surely be is colour blind.

“Just as it is racist to prevent someone from having a job when they are black, it is equally racist to give someone a job just because they are black.

“It is racist policy to get a certain amount of people from an ethnic minority into jobs.

“If I have a white, working class constituent who wants that opportunity, why should they be deprived because of these politically correct targets?”

Source: Express

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