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29/09/2003

Bectu organise ethnic minority event

Bectu has organised a Move on Up event for film and television ethnic minorities.
The film and television industry has teamed up with Bectu to create this new opportunity for ethnic minority professionals.
Sponsored by the Department of Culture, Media & Sport and the TUC, Bectu hopes the event on Monday November 10 2003 will allow minority ethnic film and TV workers to make the contacts that could help to gain further, or better, employment or have their work commissioned.
The event will feature several hundred one-to-one meetings between ethnic minority professionals working in film and television, and key decision makers from all the terrestrial channels plus the UK Film Council and big independent production companies who are members of the independent producers' association, PACT.
The key decision makers will be some of those responsible for deciding who to hire for permanent or freelance employment; or for decisions to commission TV programmes or lottery-funded films.
Lord Andrew McIntosh, Minister for Media and Heritage, commented: "Television and film play an essential role in the cultural and economic life of Britain. It is crucial that they are representative of the nation's rich cultural and ethnic mix and it is vital that people feel the door to the industry is open to them, regardless of background. That is why we are delighted to support this event, which we hope will encourage people to pursue a career in television and film."
The Black Members' Subcommittee of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Bectu put forward the proposal 18 months ago after seeing more disappointing employment figures for ethnic minorities in film and television.
Fred Campbell, Chair of the Committee, said: "We were faced with a choice: we could stand on the sidelines criticising, or we could attempt to do something positive in partnership with the industry to try to make a difference."
Bectu General Secretary Roger Bolton said he was delighted at the support Bectu had won from the industry: "We have the backing of the BBC, Granada, Carlton, Channel 4, Channel 5, the UK Film Council, the independent producers association PACT, and Pathé. We are also grateful to the Labour government and the Department of Culture, Media & Sport for the enthusiasm – and sponsorship – with which it has greeted our event."
Bectu also has the support of the Commission for Racial Equality, the TUC and the Cultural Diversity Network. The TUC has very generously donated the use of extensive facilities in Congress House in central London for the event.
Skillset, the industry training organisation, is another supporter and skillsformedia, the organisation jointly managed by Bectu and Skillset, is planning to offer participants a preparation day prior to the event.
(GB)
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