ITV becomes inaugural partner on Screenskills’ new social mobility initiative ‘First Break’

Making the TV industry more accessible to all.

ITV is for everyone, no matter their background, race, gender, disability or sexuality. We aim for this to be reflected on-screen in our programmes and services, and behind-the-screens in our workforce. , This is why we are the first partner to sign up to First Break, a new social mobility initiative from the skills body ScreenSkills to demystify the TV industry and create pathways in for people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

ITV will offer placements on both Coronation Street and Emmerdale to successful candidates at the conclusion of the initiative, which is a match-funded collaboration with ScreenSkills and High-end TV Skills Fund.

First Break will start by giving 100 candidates the chance to attend an Open Doors taster event to learn the basics of working in TV and hear first-hand about the variety of jobs available in the industry. Recruitment will target individuals aged 18+ who may have studied BTECs or NVQs in further education, be career-changers, a low-wage earner or unemployed.

Participants will then be invited to apply for 40 places on a two-day boot camp to learn more. The boot camp will include what to expect from a job in TV, information on broadcasters and major independent production companies, set etiquette, a studio tour and hands-on workshops in skills such as handling kit or in make-up.

The final round will see 10 candidates selected for five days of paid full-time job shadowing on Emmerdale and Coronation Street. The days will be spread across technical, creative/practical, organisational and ideas-related departments. These preferences have been identified to avoid intimidating candidates with job titles or grades at too early a stage.

Travel expenses will be paid and all candidates, who must have been living in the UK for at least a year to qualify, will also be offered a mentor.


ITV has made a public commitment to improve society representation on screen, as well as increasing diversity and inclusivity behind the scenes. Partnering with ScreenSkills on this important initiative is key to helping us get closer to ensuring our workforce represents our audience, it’s a big goal but one we hope ‘First Break’ will help us get even closer to fulfilling. Trish Brady, Head of HR, ITV Studios UK


First Break is aimed at encouraging, nurturing and supporting people to consider a career in television and give them the tools, knowledge and taster experience to take their first steps in. We believe it will be a practical way of making TV more accessible to those without contacts, opening the industry up to people whose life experiences are not currently widely reflected in the television workforce. Kaye Elliott, ScreenSkills’ Director of High-end Television