Channel 4 opens 25 creative career opportunities for disadvantaged young people in Leeds and Manchester

Category: News Release

Channel 4 is offering 25 more career-changing opportunities to young people based in the north of England.

Twenty-five young people from disadvantaged backgrounds will have the chance to kickstart a career in the creative industries after Channel 4 set up a range of partnerships with businesses based in Manchester and Leeds.

The opportunities come as the broadcaster launches the next round of recruitment for its Content Creatives initiative - a training and work scheme aimed at 18 to 24-year-olds with a passion for content creation and creativity. It will be the first time the Channel 4 Content Creatives initiative will run in Manchester as well as Leeds.

Sinéad Rocks, Channel 4’s Managing Director Nations and Regions said: “We know our Content Creative initiative can change people’s lives and we’re really thrilled to extend the programme to Manchester and offer more opportunities than ever before.

“Working with partners in Leeds and Manchester means that more young people with a passion for creativity can take that first, important step into a career that they might not even had realised existed on their doorstep.”

The fully paid 14-week scheme sees trainees undertake six weeks of bespoke training with the specialist company SharpFutures. The training covers production techniques, storytelling, pitching and other key skills such as teamwork and communication.

The training is followed by an eight-week work placement either with 4Studio, Channel 4’s digital content studio, or one of Channel 4’s creative partners in Leeds or Manchester.

For this cohort of trainees Channel 4 has lined up work placements with some fantastic creative organisations on either side of the Pennines including Chief, Consume Comms, Dentsu Creative, Dubit, Jaywing, Leeds 2023 and Social. And negotiations are still on-going with several other companies with a view to them joining the scheme.

The organisations cover a range of creative disciplines, but each has a passion for creativity and a commitment to supporting and nurturing talent.

Content Creatives is already supporting 18 young people with training and work placements in Leeds, opening up the world of the creative industry and providing practical experience and opportunities.

Rosie, 20, from Sheffield, currently on the scheme in Leeds, said: “Prior to Content Creatives, I had little knowledge and awareness of the creative industry and no idea on where to start getting experience.

“The training has educated me about the broad range of roles within the industry as well as how to have confidence in my skills. Currently, I’m on a placement at a design company and couldn’t be more thankful to have been given the opportunity.”

Karl Stones, Executive Creative Director at Jaywing based in Leeds said: “Creative industries like ours in the north are crying out for a fresh impetus of home-grown talent. But the irony is, most young people on our doorstep don't know we exist and what we really do.

“We’re fiercely passionate about finding the next generation of writers, editors, designers, storytellers and makers - and we know how hard it can be get a foot through the door. So it's important we seize opportunities to address this wherever possible. This opportunity alongside Channel 4 to unearth diverse young talent with a passion for creativity enables us to help shine a light on them.”

Colin Offland, CEO at Manchester-based Chief Productions said: “Chief is all about making great content, from commercials, to TV, to music promos and everything in between. To make great content we need great talent, and partnering with Channel 4 on Content Creatives will help our ambition to find, develop and nurture creative talent. We want to provide opportunities for young people from the region with creative passions and diverse perspectives, and give them their first steps into an amazing career in the creative sector.”

Peter Wrathmell, Managing Director (Leeds), Social said: “As a company committed to making a positive social impact, we jumped at the chance to partner with Channel 4 on such an important programme for young people in our region and we’re thrilled to see the initiative expanding for the second round.

“We’ve been hugely impressed by our first two trainees Abi and Anna, who have brought bucket loads of enthusiasm and a hunger to learn – and by giving them hands-on experience across our range of creative communications services, we hope to help spark successful careers for them both in our industry.”  

Julie Chadwick, Managing Partner, at Manchester-based Dentsu Creative said: “Dentsu Creative is committed to providing opportunities and nurturing the next generation of talent. This partnership with Channel 4 will offer fantastic opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in the Manchester area and we’re thrilled to be part of this project”

The Content Creatives scheme is open to people aged 18-24 who are able to work in either Leeds or Manchester. Applications need to be submitted by Monday 4th July and can be made at


Notes to Editors

4Skills is Channel 4’s strategic training and development strategy, which aims to create over 15,000 opportunities nationwide in 2022 with a particular focus on people from diverse and disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds who want a career in broadcasting. (

4Studio is the engine room for Channel 4’s digital acceleration strategy, with the mission to create, adapt and distribute brilliant content across the key social media channels. The primary activities of 4Studio is to curate (existing) and create (new) short-form content and distribute it through actively managed social media channels. 4Studio will work very closely with key people and departments within Channel 4, including commissioning, marketing and commercial. 4Studio is based in Channel 4’s new National HQ in Leeds and is a key component of Channel 4’s regional strategy, creating creative job opportunities outside London and expanding the diversity of the company’s creative contribution.

SharpFutures is a social enterprise that supports diverse talent into employment in the creative digital sector. By offering a range of Training Courses, Apprenticeships and Placements, SharpFutures supports people by developing their creative digital skills to broaden their employment opportunities. We seed ideas through services for education, we nurture the best talent we find through employment opportunities and real work experience, and we grow through the sale of our business products and services such as SharpFutures POD.

About the creative partners

Consume Comms are a marketing consultancy that help businesses communicate their story authentically by supporting through the provision of brand management, digital marketing, and event management. They develop communications that build communities, engage audiences and help businesses grow. This includes online and offline marketing, public relations, event planning, social media and everything in between ensuring our clients receive outstanding return on investment enabling our clients to grow their businesses.

Chief Productions - founded in 2002, Chief is all about making great. Great commercials. Great TV. Great music promos. Great content. Making great isn't easy, but when you do it's great. Chief is an award-winning creative production company proudly based in the cultural capital of the world - Manchester. The business films on location the world over, as well as at our HQ in Manchester where we do it all under one roof with a 10,000 sq. ft. studio, post-production and of course our production office. Most importantly Chief believes great ideas deserve to be made.   

Dentsu Creative. Part of Dentsu International, Dentsu Creative is a Global Creative Network that transforms brands and businesses through the power of Modern Creativity. Led by Global Chief Creative Officer Fred Levron, 9,000 experts across the globe work seamlessly together to deliver ideas that Create Culture, Shape Society and Invent the Future. Dentsu Creative was launched in June 2022 to address a client need for simplicity and will be Dentsu International’s sole creative network by the end of 2022.

Dubit is the largest developer of metaverse games, experiences, and events for brands. Our team of over 100 in-house developers provide brands and agencies with the tools, research data, and production services to launch compelling experiences in the metaverse. Dubit’s customers include Meta (Facebook), Google, Disney, and Warner Media Group.

Jaywing offers its clients the confidence and surety to achieve more and go further with science-powered creative and media. A multi award-winning, major UK agency, Jaywing brings together 300 of the best minds in data intelligence, creative engagement and channel performance to uncover unique insights that enable smarter outcomes. With 1 in 6 a heavyweight data scientist, Jaywing has been enabling brands to realise the true value of their data for over 20 years, using science to power decisions and give its clients an unfair advantage.

LEEDS 2023's ambition is to deliver a transformational year of creative experiences connecting and benefiting people now and into the future. The planned programme will celebrate and transform the City’s identity locally, nationally and internationally – creating a lasting legacy of economic and social impact. LEEDS 2023 is run by the Leeds Culture Trust. Chaired since November 2021 by Gabby Logan, the independent charity was set up in 2019 by Leeds City Council as part of its Culture Strategy and as a response to the cancellation of the UK's participation in the European Capital of Culture competition. Leeds City Council recognizes, in a number of its key strategies, the difference culture and creativity can make to a city and its citizens and is the principal funder of LEEDS 2023.

Social is an award winning integrated communications agency that tells stories, engages people and improves lives. From offices in Leeds, Manchester, Bristol, London and Liverpool, we provide a full range of communications, digital, creative and public affairs services. We aim to be a force for good, both in what we do and how we go about it. We are committed to doing the right thing by our clients, our colleagues, our suppliers, our society and our planet. (