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New Service Supports New Media Entrants

New entrants to the media and entertainment sectors have a new resource to help with key questions about employment and their chosen industry with the formal launch of Creative Toolkit.
The new site at: guidance on the national minimum wage, internships, sources of training, employment status, tax, health and safety and much more. Regular users of the site are encouraged to post a profile and to take part in the Community forum to share their experiences of work. Developments on the site can also be followed @creativetoolkit
Devised by BECTU, the UK's media and entertainment union, with the backing of the Union Modernisation Fund, the site aims to support new entrants, many of whom will start on short contracts or work freelance, in an industry where an oversupply of labour has given rise to increased exploitation. BECTU is an active campaigner against employers who exploit work experience and internships.
Sharon Elliott, BECTU's Communications Officer, said: "We believe that good advice on employment matters coupled with an opportunity to network, both through the site and offline, will improve the experience of new entrants in an industry populated by several large employers and many hundreds of smaller operators.
"Two years ago BECTU launched its Student Register, a contact scheme for students planning to enter the creative sectors which is promoted with the help of colleges and universities across the country. The Creative Toolkit site is the next step forward in the union's active support for the new intake.
"BECTU is encouraging its members who work throughout theatre, live events, broadcasting and in production for film, tv and online, to share their industry insights with new entrants on the website."
Ms Elliott added: "As the site develops we hope to expand the possibilities for new entrants to connect with established operators. BECTU members have a wealth of experience and many want to share their knowledge."
The Creative Toolkit site was soft-launched in August 2011; so far almost 100 users have posted profiles on the site.
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