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19 December 2012
Sky and MAMA Youth Project one year on

We aim to provide great programming that entertains and inspires our customers, and work to ensure our content and our business reflects the creative diversity of the UK and Ireland. In 2011 we formed a partnership with London charity, The MAMA Youth Project and together we chose 12 people aged 16-25 from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds to undergo hands on training and real-world experience working on a production.

Last week our second intake of students reviewed the journey they had made with us so far and  gave the final presentations of their work to Sky, after 12 weeks of intensive training. Provided by MAMA Youth, the project gave the participants skills in production research, camera and sound operation and video editing. Sky also supported the scheme throughout with dedicated Mentors for the students, as well as a handful of intensive training days giving the students the skills they need to survive in the workplace.

The presentations were hugely inspiring, with the young people expressing the direct and significant that impact the project has had on their lives. These students will now move onto paid placements at Sky or one of our partner production companies.

Casey Li, one of the students who joined the scheme in January said, “This has been a fantastic opportunity for me. The three months I was with MAMA Youth Project, gave me an understanding of what to expect when working in the industry. The experience boosted my confidence, and I wouldn’t have done any of my subsequent jobs without the pressures of the project! The guidance and encouragement of Bob Clarke and Serena Williamson, has taken me beyond Mama Youth; and with the direction and support from my mentors Sarah Seddazzari and Patrick James, is incomparable to anything else. All of the help and support is beyond my expectations.
Since finishing my training, I have worked at broadcasters and independent production companies, constantly learning new skills where ever I am. Working as a freelancer/contractor has been difficult and challenging, but I’ve learnt to never take things for granted and to use any opportunity that comes my way in a positive and formative way.  You can always learn something that will take you further. Whatever the situation and whatever the outcomes, there is always an opportunity to learn.”

Lucy Lumsden, Head of Comedy at Sky said, “I believe wholeheartedly that our programs should reflect modern Britain and the rich diversity of our society, both on screen and behind the cameras. This joint initiative between ourselves and MAMA Youth Project was the first that offers young adults a paid placement after training and so a real step up the work ladder. We hope that through this partnership we can ensure diversity in the next generation of TV producers.”

The Mama Youth Project is aimed at young people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups, disadvantaged individuals or those with limited education/employment opportunities based in London and the South East.

To find out more about the project read our partnership announcement here.

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