U.K. report: A-V job market tough on minorities

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LONDON -- Ethnic minorities and the poor are finding it tough going in the U.K.'s audio-visual job market.

According to a new report commissioned by the Trades Union Congress to be published Friday, film and television companies "are making it hard for workers from poorer backgrounds and from ethnic minority communities to embark on careers."

The research, seen by The Hollywood Reporter, reveals that, while more than a third of the London workforce is from ethnic minority communities, only 8% of workers in the audio-visual sector in the capital are black or Asian.

The findings are backed by government-backed training organization Skillset and trade body BECTU.

Other conclusions drawn by the report -- written by the Working Lives Research Institute at London Metropolitan University -- include that film and TV tends "to recruit from within limited cultural circles, with a workforce largely characterized as white and from high-income backgrounds."

The report says that the media industry in London displays the greatest inequality and is failing to represent its own diversity of communities. It also suggests that it is the film and television companies that are missing out by not taking advantage of all the raw talent on offer.

"More needs to be done by training providers and employers to create effective pathways into the industry for all London communities," Skillset chief executive Dinah Caine said. "Training must be accessible, relevant and keep pace with industry needs. London is a world city and its diversity is a genuine asset in the global economy. Employers have got to get better at taking on youngsters from ethnic minority backgrounds."

The report's findings, gathered from more than 800 interviews, will coincide with an event in London tagged Move on Up in News. The initiatives, organized in conjunction with the BBC, will give black and Asian professionals the chance to meet one-on-one with top executives and senior journalists from all the U.K.'s major news broadcasters.
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