Wednesday 29 Oct 2014
BBC Director-General Mark Thompson launched a new drive today to extend job and career opportunities to the best talent from the North of England, who can now register for a wide range of BBC roles from content-making and journalism to technology.
Speaking to an audience of students and academics at Teesside University he said that hundreds of new jobs will become available through a new BBC North jobs website launched today: bbc.co.uk/jobs/north.
Mr Thompson also announced a new "Step Up" training scheme to help people in the North of England develop production skills with the best content shown on TV, radio and online. He also pledged that the range of training schemes underway will help the wider creative industry outside the BBC to grow and prosper by "building a world-class pool of media talent in the north".
Mark Thompson said: "We can only deliver the outstanding quality programmes the public wants and expects if we draw on the best skills and talent from right across the country. Future producers of Match Of The Day, editors on BBC Radio 5 Live or even Blue Peter presenters could be in this room.
"We need to live and breathe the north by bringing in the best people with the best ideas no matter where they come from. That is why BBC North and these training and development schemes are so important to the future of the BBC, to UK broadcasting and to our creative industries."
BBC North will ensure that licence fee investment benefits the creative industries across the UK.
Director of BBC North, Peter Salmon, added: "I am really determined that we reach out to find a wide range of talented people with fresh ideas to come and help us create great new content for audiences.
"As the BBC firmly plants its feet in the north it is our investment in people that shows we are here for the long term. But the prize is much bigger than great new programmes and ideas for the BBC – building a world-class media skills base will benefit many outside the BBC too as we spread job and career opportunities across the whole of the north."
Peter Salmon also revealed that the BBC has received more than 100 applications for its @North initiative.
@North is commissioning new ideas by inviting independent companies across the North to bid for a share of £500,000 to make interactive online content for CBBC and CBeebies. The 40 short-listed companies who will go through to the detailed development phase will be announced next week.
TV funny men Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer were also at the "Connect and Create" event to talk about their early careers; offer tips and advice on breaking into the business; and to announce the winners of the BBC Partnership awards.
Bob Mortimer, who was born in Middlesbrough, said: "These young writers, producers and journalists are clearly on track to become the shooting stars of the future.
"As a proud northerner I think it's great that there are going to be more opportunities to find talented performers from the north and help them get into the media. As young comedians we felt you were at a huge advantage if you were from London and it's good to see the BBC putting this right."
Vic Reeves, who also grew up in Darlington, added: "The North of England is teaming with great comedians, writers, artists and performers. It's exciting to imagine great new programmes emerging in the near future that will put our northern towns and cities on the map."
Professor Graham Henderson, Vice-Chancellor of Teesside University, who hosted the conference, said: "I am delighted that Teesside University is hosting the BBC Connect and Create conference and hope all guests have an informative and enjoyable day.
"Working with media professionals is a critically important part of the University's work and we are extremely proud of the success of our provision in media, computer animation and games, and of our status as a Skillset Media Academy."
1. In its first year BBC North has:
2. These activities complement national training initiatives including opening up the BBC's College of Journalism with free online masterclasses and sharing BBC training with other broadcasters. Independent experts Deloitte estimate that the BBC's training for the media industry creates a benefit of £59m each year of improved productivity to the creative economy.
3. The new jobs website bbc.co.uk/jobs/north works like a smart recruitment agency matching candidates skills and experience to opportunities as they arise so they need only apply once. Jobs are based in the north but are open to anyone in the UK.
4. As the anchor tenant of MediaCityUK in Salford BBC North will help to create over 15,000 jobs and £1bn additional net value to the north's economy over the next few years, according to the Regional Development Agency.
5. Connect and Create is a BBC scheme and part of the BBC Academy, enabling staff to gain new skills by volunteering to work with partner organisations.
BBC Press Office
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