Three initiatives from ITV inspire and unlock the potential of young people from all backgrounds, building confidence, developing skills and providing practical, meaningful experiences.
- ITV has invested in local community groups, regional business and grass-roots organisations, and currently has 37 diversity partners.
- Over 70,000 young peoplehave been engaged through social media to grow their knowledge of the industry.
- The programmes have provided a foundation for young people to become entrepreneurs, innovators, role models and industry leaders.
- The programmes have reduced the exclusion of hard to reach groups, addressed social mobility issues and supported individuals with a disability.
- ITVInspire generated highly motivated teams. Over 250 employees delivered sessions across the scheme, developing their confidence, mentoring and managerial skills.
- The schemes reduced recruitment costs and provided access to a diverse talent pool.
- Product developers could get closer to future audiences and understand their wants and needs, particularly in relation to popular culture.
ITV created three connected programmes to make its industry more accessible to young people. There is a perception that it is almost impossible to gain opportunities in the media industry unless you have contacts. These schemes are breaking down these barriers and changing these perceptions.
Making the TV industry accessible
ITV knew that attracting younger, diverse talent was essential to ensure they remained relevant to future audiences, but they had no formal access or entry pipelines for under 18s. Traditional “work experience” prevented those not in higher education from participating. It was also limiting in what could be gained from a one-off experience.
ITVInspire (14 to 17 years) is a two-week work inspiration programme designed to make the television industry, often seen as untouchable, more accessible to young people.
Workshops and tours that give an insight into ITV and the wider media industry are delivered by ITV colleagues, who also work with the young people to help them create a short film on one of ITV’s most famous sets.
The scheme offers progression onto the ITVInsight programme (18+), a volunteering scheme which offers hands-on experience for up to two weeks. Participants have access to ITV’s Insight LinkedIn group, a members-only community where they can hear about other members’ experiences, gain access to ITV opportunities and apply for paid roles. This enables ITV to give volunteer opportunities as and when possible, which suits the flexibility of the industry.
The third strand is an apprenticeship scheme, a 12-month paid placement. Trainees have the opportunity to gain an NVQ in Business & Administration or Creative & Digital Media, obtain hands-on experience working alongside industry experts and can access career advice every step of the way.
The apprenticeship scheme helps to address key areas such as a lack of gender diversity in niche technical areas, skills gaps in business and commercial areas, and the high cost of recruiting and training temp workers.
Embedding youth programmes within the business
ITV worked with BITC to successfully pilot a framework that would enable young people to gain qualitative experience in workplaces. The programmes were started as corporate responsibility initiatives but are now primarily managed through the core recruitment team within ITV, showing that they are now embedded within the business.
Everyone at any level can contribute to the youth programmes, and colleagues are encouraged to get involved through ITV’s internal volunteering programme. Colleagues expect and celebrate the schemes as part of the company’s calendar of events and this creates a youth-friendly culture in the business, which the young people on the schemes have found welcoming.
What ITV's CEO said:
“Attracting and retaining talent is critical to our success. It means ensuring we have an inclusive culture; treating people the right way, listening to their views, and giving them the chance to develop new skills and expand their experience. We know that diversity breeds innovation, vital for the best creative content.” - Adam Crozier, CEO, ITV