- Channel 4’s nationwide training and development strategy 4Skills delivered more than 57,000 training, learning and development opportunities in 2023
- Specialist programmes include production training, social media content creation, apprenticeships and freelance support
- Applications for the New Writers Scheme opened this week with places available in Bristol, Glasgow, and Leeds
- People from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds wanting a career in broadcasting are encouraged to apply
As Channel 4 approaches its fifth anniversary of its base opening in Leeds (October 2024), the channel’s nationwide training and development programme, 4Skills, has shared a range of upcoming opportunities across the UK.
The New Writers Scheme offers writers a fantastic opportunity to harness their skills with months of expert industry training and mentoring. The project, which has been rolled out across the UK following the successful pilot last year in the south west of England, aims to identify and nurture underrepresented writing talent outside of London with a focus on diverse, regional and authentic voices who have a passion for television drama.
This year’s new writers scheme aims to work with around four to eight writers located in Bristol, Glasgow and Leeds, making up 20 participants in total. The aspiring writers will benefit from eight months of expert industry training and mentoring, alongside introductions to scripted indies and feedback from Channel 4.
Channel 4’s Drama Commissioning Editor, Gwawr Lloyd said: “The pilot programme was a triumph and it’s fantastic to extend this scheme to the wider Nations and Regions by offering places in Leeds and Glasgow as well as Bristol.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with the last cohort of writers and I’m excited to get to know the new creatives on this year’s scheme. It’s an incredible opportunity for the channel to work with fresh talent from different regions. Often narratives told on screen reflect the writer’s own personal experiences and it’s important to hear from a variety of voices, especially from underrepresented groups, to inspire interesting and authentic story ideas.”
Kevin Blacoe, Channel 4’s Head of Partnerships & Skills, Nations & Regions, said: “Nurturing talent is something we’re passionate about as a broadcaster and these initiatives enables us to do just that.
“4Skills is all about providing opportunities for those from underrepresented backgrounds and different regions of the UK who wouldn’t normally get the chance to experience what it’s like working behind the scenes in television and guiding them as they progress their career. By doing this we’re not only supporting those already working in the sector but we’re investing into the future talent of television, ensuring every voice is heard both on and off our screens. “
In addition to the expansion of the writers scheme, 4Skills has ambitious plans for creative talent in 2024 having already launched the Late Night Lycett training scheme last month.
Other schemes due to open up for applications before the summer include the Production Training Scheme, Content Creatives, Channel 4 Apprenticeships and the Freelancer Focus initiative.
- Production Training Schemes - Channel 4’s Production Training Scheme is a year-long, fully paid training programme which places up to 20 trainees at independent production companies across the UK. The scheme is planning to run again in September 2024.
- Content Creatives – aimed at people who might not think a career in the creative industries is for them, the Content Creatives scheme is aimed at young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds who have a passion for creating digital content. Placements for 30 creatives will begin in September 2024 across West Yorkshire and Manchester.
- Apprenticeships - Channel 4 currently supports 56 apprentices across a huge range of departments including: 4Studio and Policy and Public Affairs teams in Leeds, 4Creative and Product in London, Sales Operations in Manchester, and Commissioning in Glasgow. The fully paid-up apprenticeships range from 15 months to 36 months and people will be able to submit applications to sign up to a Channel 4 apprenticeship this spring.
- Freelancer Focus - In partnership with the National Film and Television School, 4Skills runs regular bespoke training that supports the freelance community. Last year this included Freelancer Focus, a two-week programme, which had over 7,200 attendances across the 20 sessions and covered everything from pitching to CVs to finance to wellbeing. In 2024 there will be further bespoke face-to-face and online training, kicking off with factual edit training in Cardiff in March.
The New Writers initiative is one of many projects being supported by 4Skills, which provided more than 57,000 learning, training or development opportunities in 2023.
Last year’s development highlights included the Paralympic Production Training Scheme, which recruited 16 disabled trainees with some of them set to work on 2024 Paris Summer Paralympic Games; engaging with 121 schools in the UK through 4Schools where students learnt about the range of different job opportunities within the broadcast industry; 4Skills online work experience; supporting the freelance community in partnership with National Film and Television; and offering specialist support to regional indies through Business Boost.
Applications for the Channel 4 New Writers Scheme are now open, and it welcomes submissions from new and emerging writers based in commutable distance to either Bristol, Glasgow or Leeds. The scheme is open to unrepresented writers looking for their first writing credit and writers who are working on developing their own original series.
The deadline for applications is Friday 1st March 2024. For full details and how to apply, visit: https://careers.channel4.com/4Skills/C4NewWritersScheme
More details about 4Skills are available here
Notes to Editors
For further information, please contact: Rachel Williams, Corporate Press Officer Rawilliams@channel4.co.uk
4Skills is Channel 4’s nationwide training and development strategy which aims to create thousands of opportunities nationwide with a particular focus on people from diverse and disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds who want a career in broadcasting.
In 2023 4Skills generated more than 57,000 training, development and learning opportunities for people across the UK, focusing on those from underrepresented groups. It offered full-time, fully-paid training to young people taking their first steps in our industry including 41 apprentices, 30 Content Creatives trainees and 16 disabled trainees recruited for the Paralympics Production Training Scheme.
4Skills invests £5m in training, development and learning opportunities annually and this will double to £10m by 2025.
For more information visit: https://careers.channel4.com/4skills
About Channel 4
Channel 4 exists to create change through entertainment. Publicly owned yet commercially funded, Channel 4 generates significant and sustainable cultural, economic and social impact across the UK – at no cost to the taxpayer.
The broadcaster’s distinctive remit is set by Parliament, and it has a role to represent unheard voices, challenge with purpose and reinvent entertainment. For over 40 years, it has been a British success story, engaging generation after generation of young people.
Through a unique publisher-broadcaster model, Channel 4 commissions its content from the UK independent production sector. Working with around 300 creative companies every year, Channel 4 makes a major contribution to the local, regional and national economy, creating and supporting thousands of jobs and businesses across the country.
In 2020, Channel 4 launched its Future4 strategy to become a digital-first public service media company and to continue to deliver significant impact for UK audiences and investment into the UK creative economy.
Across its bases in London, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow, Channel 4 is turbocharging its efforts to find, nurture and develop talent across the UK. Through its training and development initiative 4Skills, Channel 4 is opening up opportunities in broadcasting, with a particular focus on disadvantaged young people, and addressing skills gaps across the Nations and Regions.
Through Film4 Productions, Channel 4 also invests in British filmmakers to huge critical acclaim, producing 37 Oscar wins and 88 BAFTA wins in its history.