Contacts still key for gaining media jobs

More than two thirds of professionals working in the broadcasting media gained their jobs through informal routes, such as via contacts, according to a report out this week.

The survey, published by Skillset — the sector skills council for the audiovisual industries — investigated working patterns, training and salaries within the media.

Estelle Morris (pictured), president of Skillset's patrons and former minister for the arts, said: "A reliance on contacts and nepotism has adversely affected the diverse make up of the workforce, as shown in Skillset's survey.

"It's always going to be a people business and contacts will always play a part in a person's career, but, although the industry is waking up to the problem, it needs to introduce more formal recruitment methods if any meaningful change is to happen."

The survey, which questioned almost 700 people working in the media, also revealed that 69 per cent of media professionals have a degree compared with 16 per cent of the UK workforce.

The research showed that 62 per cent of the workforce in the media is male and that 38 per cent had done unpaid work during their careers.

Yet despite the prevalence of qualifications, the survey highlighted the significance of training to meet the skills demands of an industry characterised by change, particularly cuttingedge advances to technology.

Of respondents, 62 per cent reported a training need, mainly to keep up to date with or improve current work (60 per cent) and to develop new technical skills (49 per cent).

Dinah Caine, chief executive of Skillset, said: "Continually improving and adding to your portfolio of skills is an absolute necessity for people working in this industry."

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