The purpose of this report is to identify the issues within media overall, and analyse the barriers that have caused majority of graduates to find work placement as part of their studies. In addition, it will ask whether is it true that there is lack of equality within this medium for disabled and black ethnic minority students?
Like any other industries, media industry has got various issues to address, within radios, TVs, and media based corporations and so on. Due to the recent recessions that have struck almost entire market globally, inevitably this had reflected on media industry as well, moreover it has decreased work opportunities for students whom are from ethnic backgrounds. In other words, the proportion of students going to Colleges and Universities in the UK are increasing, as a consequence this makes it harder for many media graduates to undertake work placement or gain practical work experience. On the other hand, not everyone could benefit from work placements, especially in smaller cities and towns, where the chances are not as widespread as the major cities.
Byford states that ‘the important of work placement can’t be underestimated for students looking to get ahead in the arts, media and other cultural sectors’. (2010) This is a clear message that even though getting into media industry might be easy for some students to gain work placements successfully; however nationally this is more difficult. What is missing is the quality of assurance by some institutions, which I believe graduating students without a proper direction to get a foot in the door of the industry. What this means is that students do want to get a job as soon as they graduate. Moreover they look forward to see themselves fit into the media industry. All institutions which teach students in arts, media, and cultural studies need to assure students that they will have equal access to those areas. In addition, this message needs to go across the whole industry, especially the media.
The issue of being able to find a work placement within media is one side of the issue, but there are other elements, which makes it much harder for some students to gain work placements or work experience; whether it is paid or unpaid work. The Higher Education Academy (2010) states ‘the arts and cultural sector has been identified as a key growth area in the current recession, but a new research study shows that pathways to working in it are unequal’.According to the above statement there is lack of equality to gain work placements or to get a job. It has also been mentioned that it would be very tough to find work placements within arts, media and cultural sectors if you have not got contacts with someone in the industry itself. (Byford, 2010)
The interesting point is that even though there are not wide future prospects for graduates, however they are still hopeful that they will be able to join and gain future employment in arts, media, and culture. Here in the UK, there might be limited prospects for small minorities to be able to find work within their community. For instance some of TV broadcasters have broadened their services, especially in the UK. A few of Arab TV stations have set-up branches in the UK, and of course this gives some graduates a better future employment opportunity within arts and media. Having said that, it is limited and I do not think that the amount of work prospects they provide would be counted on a large scale.
Advertising sector as an example; according to data Generator statistics, which is an online source, it clearly figures out all ethnic, gender, race, age, disability, part-time or full-time and so on. In the table below has been illustrated that some range of ages are not as beneficial as the others.
This has not explained whether practical experience would be an advantage element for anyone to join employment within this sector. Because there might be someone who is over 40 years but has over 10 years of experience, and that should give the person some credit. Below is another example of an inequality figure that disabled people have been subject to inequality within advertising sector. According to Data Generator, these figures are up-dated every two years.
(Data Generator, 2006,2007)
Professor Jocey Quinn (now Plymouth University) said: ‘we found that inequalities in student work placements are a symptom of a much deeper problem in arts and cultural sector’.As far as Professor Quinn is concerned it is a national matter that has not been paid attention to properly and it is an issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than leaving it to get worse. According to the same statement there are some useful information for careers, placement staff and students looking to undertake work placement. (Barnard, 2010) All toolkits are available for careers, staff and students on (Equality Challenge Unit) www.ecu.ac.uk/publications. The question is why inequality in the arts, media, and cultural sector appears on a larger scale in comparison to other sectors in the UK? Is it because people from ethnic backgrounds are not interested in media generally or is it the system that has failed to ensure graduates have access to all industries as equally as possible? As everyone knows the UK is a multi-cultural society and therefore this should widen equal opportunities to establish a better integration between all communities locally and nationally.
In conclusion, it is obvious that there is inequality in getting into media industry for black and ethnic minority students; whether it is paid or unpaid. Of course, almost all students will need to gain work experience and placements before they can acquire full time employment. Accordingly, this has not been an issue for the graduates that are from white and middle class backgrounds. However, with collaboration between academic institutions and the media industry there is a future chance that the arts, media and cultural sectors will be accessible to whoever would like to get into the media industry. The question is whether the issue of an inequality will be dealt as appropriately as possible!
Barnard, M. (n.d.) in: Milkround.com (n.d.) in: Personneltoday. (2011, January 28). "No prospects" for graduates in arts, media and public sector. [online] Retrieved February 5, 2011, from Personneltoday: http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2011/01/28/57284/no-prospects-for-graduates-in-arts-media-and-public-sector.html
Bradford City of Film. (n.d.). Funding for Film Making. [online] Retrieved February 1, 2011, from Bradford City of Film: http://www.bradford-city-of-film.com/shared/cms/interface/view.aspx?id=54
Byford, K. (n.d.). PDF: Work placements in the arts and cultural sector: diversity, equality and access. [online] Retrieved February 26, 2011, from Equality Challenge Unit: http://www.ecu.ac.uk/publications/files/work-placements-in-the-arts-and-cultural-sector.pdf/view?searchterm=kate%20byford
Byford, K. (n.d.) in: The Higher Education Academy (2010, November 5). Work placement in the arts and culture sector: diversity, equality and access. [online] Retrieved January 30, 2011, from The Higher Education Academy: http://www.adm.heacademy.ac.uk/news/sector-news/work-placements-in-the-arts-and-cultural-sector-diversity-equality-and-access
Data Generator. (2006, 2007). Advertising, Nation/ region, Total employed. [online] Retrieved March 15, 2011, from Data Generator: http://www.data-generator.co.uk/customreportslist.aspx?SH=QRI5281W1N&RT=
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London Metropolitan University. (2009/ 2010, July/ March). Equality Issues in High Education Work Placement in the Arts and Cultural Sector. [online] Retrieved January 29, 2011, from London Metropolitan University: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/research-units/ipse/research-projects/current-projects/p100.cfm
Quinn, J. (n.d.) in: The Higher Education Academy (2010, November 5). Work placement in the arts and culture sector: diversity, equality and access. [online] Retrieved January 30, 2011, from The Higher Education Academy: http://www.adm.heacademy.ac.uk/news/sector-news/work-placements-in-the-arts-and-cultural-sector-diversity-equality-and-access