4Skills: Supporting new talent

For 40 years, Channel 4 has been committed to ensuring that people from a wide range of backgrounds and walks of life can pursue successful careers in the media industry, helping to accelerate the UK’s vibrant and innovative creative industries. We have consistently invested in talent from across the UK, often giving British talent their first big break.

Our 4Skills initiatives, featuring Channel 4 Apprenticeships and the Channel 4 Production Training Scheme, are designed to give career development and training opportunities in the broadcast industry for people across the Nations and Regions. 

Inclusion and diversity is at the heart of our talent strategy on and off screen. Supporting social mobility and encouraging new entrants into the wider media industries is crucial to our role as Britain’s youngest public service broadcaster. 

Read about the impact of our training schemes here.

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Providing opportunities to young people who might never have given a second thought to a career in the broadcast is precisely what Channel 4 should be doing.

It’s so important that we reach out and tap into talent pools which are all too often ignored or overlooked. Seeking out the next generation of diverse talent is imperative for Channel 4 and the wider industry.
Sinéad Rocks, Managing Director, Nations & Regions, Channel 4

4Skills initiatives

Our apprenticeship programme is the cornerstone of our strategy for improving inclusion and diversity at Channel 4. As part of the increased 4Skills ambition, Channel 4 is now supporting more apprentices than ever before, with a commitment that at least half are based outside of London.

The apprentices spend 14-36 months attached to one of our departments, working on a range of in-depth projects that count towards their Level 2, 3, 4 or 6 qualifications. These programmes are targeted at underrepresented groups within society and contribute to Channel 4’s broader diversity and inclusion targets.

Channel 4’s Production Training Scheme is a year-long, fully paid training programme which places trainees at independent production companies across the UK.

The flagship scheme, which has run for more than 15 years, is designed to provide entry level opportunities in TV production. It has a particular focus on encouraging applications from underrepresented groups in the UK production sector.

Through the Production Training Scheme, Channel 4 provides intensive training bootcamps, regular development sessions and mentoring, supported by ThinkBIGGER!. Trainees gain valuable experience through their day-to-day roles with the production companies.

The scheme now supports two cohorts each year – one focused on Scripted companies and the other on Unscripted. The year-long, fully paid training programme placed 33 trainees at independent production companies across the UK in 2022.

For those who might not typically consider a career in the creative industry, Channel 4 launched its Content Creatives scheme.

This is aimed at young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds who have a passion for creating digital content. The scheme is a paid training and placement opportunity in West Yorkshire and Manchester, offering the chance to kickstart a career in creative digital media.

In January 2023, Channel 4 launched a new work experience programme to encourage young people to target a career in the broadcast industry. The focus is on providing opportunities for 16–21-year-olds from lower socio-economic and diverse backgrounds.

Run by Channel 4 and GetMyFirstJob, the programme covers some of the most important steps a TV show takes on its way to our screen – from initial idea to securing a sponsor, to deciding when a programme should be broadcast and analysing its success.

Channel 4 has launched 4Schools, a major engagement project working with schools to open up the world of television and the creative and digital industries to 11-14-year-olds.

4Schools provides a wide range of resources and content online, including videos, lesson plans and quizzes, for schools to use in their own time aligned to their curriculum needs. In addition to these broader resources, 4Schools delivers face-to-face careers workshops and assemblies.