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Channel 4 is expanding its 4Skills training initiative with more than 3,000 progression opportunities and outreach programme targeted to reach more than 12,000 secondary school pupils.

From 2022, the broadcaster is ploughing £5m a year into a three-year continuation of the programme, which it launched last year. People already working in the industry will be offered bespoke NFTS training courses, fast-track career development schemes and specific training days in C4’s four regional hubs: Leeds, Glasgow, Bristol and Manchester.

It will also mentor Black film-makers outside London, partner with a university to offer investigative journalism bursaries, provide placements for legal graduates from diverse and lower socio-economic backgrounds, and fund ScreenSkills’ Unscripted Skills Fund.

C4 also pledges to help more than 200 people from disadvantaged backgrounds to break into TV via apprenticeship programmes; production training schemes, primarily with regional indies; the 4Skills Digital Academy in partnership with Manchester’s Sharp Futures and the Department for Work and Pensions; and the RAD (Research) scheme in Wales and Scotland. Most of these will be salaried.

The broadcaster will provide activities for 11-14 year-olds, including those in Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) schools, and will offer a 4Skills ‘Masterclass’ programme across social media platforms as well as 500 funded work experience placements for under-21s.

C4 chief executive Alex Mahon said: “Everyone should have an equal chance to follow their dreams and have a job in the creative industries. It shouldn’t be about having certain qualifications but about passion and potential.”

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