Sky launches UK diversity placement scheme & unveils $2.75m carbon initiative

Jane Millichip

European pay operator Sky has partnered with UK-based diversity organisation Creative Access to offer under-represented groups placements in the media industry and launched a £2m ($2.75m) scheme to drive environmental awareness.

The Creative Access collaboration will offer talented TV aspirants who are Black, Asian or from a minority ethnic background, disabled or from lower socioeconomic backgrounds with 12-month paid placements.

There will be 18 places available, with successful candidates gaining experience of working across Sky’s UK Content division, Sky Studios, Sky News and Sky Sports.

Over the course of 12 months, the scheme aims to provide candidates with industry knowledge and to widen their professional networks. Positions available include two trainee sports reporter roles at Sky Sports and two editorial assistant positions at Sky Studios.

The scheme’s creation comes three months after Sky set new targets to increase ethnic diversity and representation across its UK workforce. By 2025, the company is aiming for 20% of their employees in the UK & Ireland to be from Black, Asian, or ethnically diverse backgrounds, with at least a quarter of these being Black.

Jane Millichip, chief content officer at Sky Studios, said: “Bringing new talent from under-represented groups into the creative industries is hugely important to us. Across the industry it’s critical that we reflect the viewers who watch our shows, both on screen and off. These placements will work across some of our most innovative areas from Virtual Production to our biggest and boldest new dramas and comedies.”

The deadline for applications for all placements is 16 April 2021 and all application must be made through the Creative Access website.

Footprint funding

Sky has also unveiled its Sky Zero Footprint Fund, which will offer £2m of media value to company’s involved in cutting carbon emissions. The scheme, which has been established as part of the broadcaster’s campaign to be net zero carbon by 2030, is open to media agencies, creative agencies and brands that come up with ideas through TV and advertising to reduce carbon consumption.

The winning ideas will be selected by a panel of judges, who will evaluate entries based on their commitment to a carbon zero future. Applications will be open from 6 April to 14 May, with 10 brands then moving forward to a live/virtual pitch with the judges.

From this process, the five most creative and impactful ideas will go-on to share the £2m pot of media value. Each business is guaranteed at least £250,000 with the winner securing £1m for its campaign.

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