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Channel 4 goes talent-spotting in the cities

THE media's seemingly insatiable love affair with discovering new talent has found its ultimate expression - searching for innovative students to work in the media in a way that is itself innovative.

The 4Learning education department of Channel 4 has put together a pound;2 million package to target colleges and schools. It is supported by Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise which are giving priority to stimulating the growth of the creative industries, worth an estimated pound;5 billion to the Scottish economy.

The initiative will involve events and workshops in the five cities, based on the media strengths of each. The Glasgow focus will be on television programming. Dundee's reputation as the centre of electronic games manufacturing will be used to concentrate on animation.

Design and technology will feature in Aberdeen. Music and innovation are rooted in Inverness. In Edinburgh, the international film festival will provide the backdrop for film talent-spotting.

Stuart Cosgrove, director of nations and regions for Channel 4, said the programme aimed to give participants "the tools, ideas and peers" to find a foothold in the creative industries. Scots, it appears, watch more Channel 4 than any other group in the UK.

Schools and colleges are being invited to nominate students. Their work will be showcased on the Ideasfactory website, supported by the media arm of Skillsets - the sector skills council for the audio visual industries.

It will also offer careers information, online mentoring, advice and key contacts and the web audience will be able to vote for the winning projects in each city.

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