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21/01/2009

BECTU Website Gets Major Upgrade

The independent trade union for those working in broadcasting, film, theatre, entertainment, leisure, interactive media and allied areas, BECTU is going high tech.
It is launching a new website this month which will include new resources, such as some facilities which are exclusively available to members only.
The new site, which will continue to be available at www.bectu.org.uk aims to build on the strong news content of the existing site, but will offer more advanced functions aimed at encouraging more member participation in the union.
Development of the site, by Suffolk-based web developers NetXtra, has been made possible by BECTU's successful bid for funding from the Union Modernisation Fund (UMF) - which is administered by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
The new site will now offer those unfamiliar with BECTU a clearer and more positive view about the range of services provided by the union.
BECTU is an important and influential organisation representing some 26,500 staff and freelances across the media and entertainment industries.
It negotiates with a great number of employers and employer groups, including the BBC; ITV; PACT; Odeon, the Society of London Theatre; the Theatrical Management Association and the Royal Opera House.
The new website will encourage members to develop more regular contact with the union and specifically with their branch representatives.
Dedicated branch pages, available only to BECTU members, will enable all members to have access to the latest branch news, around the clock. Branch officials will find new online tools and resources to help with the management of their branches.
New training pages will also showcase the courses which BECTU offers to its representatives; the union’s career development programme will also be more visible to the freelance workers it assists.
In addition, the new site will also see the launch of BECTU's Student Register, a new service aimed at developing existing positive relations between BECTU and those studying for careers across the cultural sector.
Crewbus, the union's established online freelance directory, will also be extensively remodelled as part of the project.
The service, currently available to BECTU's freelance members in film and television, will be relaunched to deliver new facilities for users, including the option to upload a showreel.
Employers already use Crewbus to search for crew with the new version of Crewbus due to come online after the main site is launched.
Overall, the launch will complete year one of BECTU's UMF project; year two will focus on equipping members and representatives to make best use of the site through a substantial programme of related training.
"The team, which has worked extensively to bring the project to this point, looks forward to sharing the new opportunities offered by the site with existing and new visitors to
www.bectu.org.uk" commented Sharon Elliott, BECTU's Communications Officer.
(BMcC/JM)
VMI.TV Ltd

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