The BBC has launched two programmes to help young people from low-income families who want to apply for its prestigious apprenticeships schemes.
Research from the Sutton Trust shows a disproportionate number of the country’s most prestigious apprenticeship places are going to teenagers from higher income backgrounds or older people, leaving less privileged youngsters behind.
The BBC’s director general, Tony Hall, said he was proud to provide training for young people from the most deprived backgrounds.
'Apprenticeships a priority'
“Social mobility matters. That’s why I’ve made apprenticeships a priority at the BBC – opening the door to people from many different backgrounds,” he added. “We will only succeed in being the world-leading creative organisation we need to be if we seek out the brightest talent from the broadest range of backgrounds and allow no barriers to get in their way.”
Founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust, Sir Peter Lampl, said to make sure apprenticeships fulfil their potential as a vehicle for social mobility, it will be crucial to improve access to those that offer real alternatives to A levels and degrees.
He added: “We know that young people from low- and moderate-income backgrounds are much less likely than their peers to take up the most prestigious apprenticeships."
Level the playing field
The first programme, based in London and Salford, is a training course designed to level the playing field for 50 school students from socially diverse backgrounds. The successful candidates will fit their training around school or college and will prepare them to apply for the September 2020 cohort of BBC apprenticeships.
The second scheme, based in Cardiff, will offer 10 full time, paid, pre-employment traineeships to young people with the ambition to apply for 10 BBC Wales Journalism Apprenticeships.
The BBC has a well-established record in apprenticeships, with more than 200 BBC apprentices and about 150 BBC graduate trainees across the UK this year.