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Ethnic Minorities

Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 24 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what support her Department gives to encourage students from ethnic minorities to take up (a) careers and (b) training in (i) music, (ii) the media and (iii) sport. (96196)

My Department is active in a number of ways. We continue to work very closely with the Department for Education and Skills on the Music Manifesto, which sets out a series of shared aims for music education including improving opportunities for young people to broaden their musical interests and skills, and to develop a world-class work force. These aims are about improving music making opportunities and pathways for progression for all young people, including those from ethnic minority backgrounds.

In addition, the Creative Economy Programme diversity strand has been looking at breaking down barriers to entry into the creative industries for people from disadvantaged and minority groups. This includes, but is not exclusively dedicated to, ethnic minorities and entry into careers in the music and media industries.

In relation to the media, section 27 of the Communications Act 2003 places a duty on Ofcom (the Office of Communications) to promote training and equal opportunities in employment by television and radio broadcasters. The Cultural Diversity Network (CDN) was also launched in October 2000 by television broadcasters with the aim of promoting cultural diversity both on and off-screen.

The UK Film Council’s document, “Success through Diversity and Inclusion” (published 2003) is specifically designed to help increase the diversity of the British film industry’s work force across the film industry value chain. That strategy very clearly references the actions needed to encourage students from black and minority ethnic groups in particular to take up careers in the film industry.

The council’s joint film skills training strategy with Skillset, The Bigger Picture, has also fully integrated the industry’s equality and diversity commitments. In addition, the UK Film Council/Skillset Graduate Fellowship Programme provides graduates from minority ethnic groups with funded work placements for up to one year in film companies that represent different aspects of the film business.

DCMS aims to increase the number of ethnic minorities who participate in sport. A crucial factor of this is to ensure a sufficient and highly skilled workforce supported by a core curriculum and career pathway that will encourage students to work, train, and stay in the sector. It should also represent the communities to allow engagement of ethnic minorities from grassroots participation to the training of coaches.

Our non-departmental public body Sport England, works to build capacity within the delivery system for sport with key partners such as SkillsActive, the National Governing Bodies of Sport and County Sports Partnerships. An important part of this is the promotion of equality in sport, which underpins their work. In addition, Sport England funds the leading sports equity agencies which assist in implementing the Equality Standard for Sport aimed at increasing involvement from ethnic minorities among other groups. The delivery system also provides a framework for training coaches and volunteers.

SkillsActive is licensed by the Government as the Sector Skills Council for active leisure and learning to lead the skills and productivity drive in these sectors through the development of fit for purpose, industry-led qualifications. Their partnership work has developed sports apprenticeship programmes and other endorsed qualifications which must adhere to strict guidelines on ethnic minority registrations.