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Chelsea Louza, BRITs Apprentice with Blackstar

Hi, I’m Chelsea, I am a Social Media Assistant Apprentice working for Blackstar as a part of the BRIT Trust funded BRITs Apprentice Scheme. I’m very excited to be working for Blackstar as the company is a marketing agency for music artists and it has been my goal to work in music marketing for a long time. The application and interview stages were stress-free and informative. Working at Blackstar has been amazing, I have met wonderful people, and been given great opportunities and experiences both in and out of working hours.

I have been made to feel really confident and comfortable in my environment, including the questions I ask, and the tasks I’m doing. I am given enough guidance from my managers and colleagues while doing my tasks. I feel free enough to ask for assistance when needed. Over the last few months, I have been given more tasks, responsibilities and courses to do. This has resulted in my being more confident in supporting my team and gives me a level of independence with how and when I do my tasks. There has been a level of trust built with my colleagues – I’ve been asked for my opinion and ideas, which makes me feel like a valued member of the team. I have been learning to do a lot of things by being shown and then getting lots of practice by myself, which has worked well for me as it’s how I learn best. I have been given the task of coming up with creative ideas for social media activations of different artists from the familiar to something completely out of my comfort zone. It means that I am able to work with and experience a range of artists who I would never normally listen to, which is also helping ideas to come more naturally to me. I have been encouraged to take online courses covering areas such as minute-taking, emailing, and copywriting etc to help me with my day-to-day tasks and skills that I will then be able to transfer/ use while progressing in my career.

I have been pleasantly surprised with just how welcoming the whole company has been, and made it easy for me to fit in. Although I know I am here to learn and I expected some guidance, I didn’t expect the amount of care and support that I would be getting. Staff members including me get a lot of praise and acknowledgement from the whole company and it’s wonderful to see. It’s made me more confident at work, knowing that it’s not just me that is interested in my development, and that the company and colleagues are committed to seeing me grow and succeed.

Finally, I am also grateful to The BRIT Trust, whose funding of the BRITs Apprentice Scheme has made this exciting opportunity for me possible.

Are you looking to get a job in the Film, TV and Music industry? We have a webinar just for you!

On Thursday 28th October 2021, DiVA will be hosting a free Zoom Webinar for those interested in applying for a Kickstart Scheme Placement and want to find out more information. In the webinar you’ll get to hear some of the amazing job opportunities we have in the Film, Music and TV Industries and see some of the companies we have under our DiVA family. You’ll also receive some advice on how to apply for Kickstart Scheme roles.

Click Here to register! The details are below:

Thursday 28th October 2021

11am -12pm

Meeting ID: 861 3767 9159

Passcode: 969432

We hope to see you there!

Fifty-two UK indie production and distribution companies are taking part in the Pact/DiVA Kickstart Scheme, with many of the placements already underway and over 80 set to be fulfilled in total.

The Kickstart Scheme is part of the UK Government’s Plan For Jobs, announced by the Chancellor last Summer, and aims to create six-month placements for young people aged 16 – 24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Companies involved in the Pact/DiVA Scheme range from new start-ups to large indies, from across the UK, including the likes of It’s A Sin producers Red Production Company; The Big Narstie Show producers Expectation Entertainment; and Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out producers, October Films.

Nathan Peachey, Director of Finance and Business Affairs at October Films said “This scheme has been a brilliant way of recruiting young talent we may not otherwise have accessed. DiVA simplified the kickstart application and ensured the process ran smoothly.”

Lloyd Owusu is currently on the second month of his placement with October Films. He said: “Before starting the Kickstart scheme, I had just finished my media degree and had no idea what to do next. Never did I imagine that I would be able to get a job within my field of interest so quickly but thanks to the Kickstart Scheme I was able to get my dream job with October Films within a matter of weeks. Now, for the first time in a while, I can see a bright and clear future ahead of me.”

Keith Carino is currently on the third month of their placement with October Films. They said: “October Films has stretched my prior knowledge and qualifications into real inner workings of an industry I want to pursue a career in! A warm and welcoming working environment promotes productivity, not to mention the harmony between attending DiVA’s employability sessions and normal work duties. It’s an amazing programme.”

Pact partnered with DiVA at the beginning of 2021 to offer its members the chance to apply as part of a group application of no less than 30 placements. This was initially a requirement for smaller businesses to take part in the Scheme, though the Government has since removed this criteria. DiVA, who have experience running apprenticeships across the entertainment sector, have been managing the administration for the Pact group, including recruiting the applicants and are providing the participants with a tailored programme of training whilst on the Scheme.

Pact’s Head of Inclusion & Diversity, Anjani Patel said: “We are delighted that so many Pact members have decided to get involved in the Scheme. With the Government funding 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, it’s an excellent opportunity for indies of all sizes to offer young talent a first step into the industry or the chance to gain more experience.”

DiVA’s Founder and Director Arit Eminue said: “We’ve been really pleased with the response to the Scheme and how it’s going so far. It’s also a much-needed resource for small businesses recovering from the pandemic.  Participants are already getting a lot out of it too ­– through the experiences, they’re having within their companies as well as the training we’re delivering as part of the Scheme. The ultimate aim, of course, is that these experiences will mean that they will be well placed to stay on in the industry beyond their Kickstart placements.

Pact, the trade association representing UK independent television, film, digital, children’s and animation media companies, has struck up a partnership with experienced media industry apprenticeships provider, DiVA, to offer their members the opportunity to take part in the Government’s Kickstart Scheme.

What is the Kickstart Scheme?

The Scheme is part of the wider Plan for Jobs, announced by the Chancellor last Summer, and aims to create jobs for young people aged 16 – 24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

In essence, employers offer a 6-month placement to an individual and receive funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions.

Why the Pact/DiVA partnership for indies?

One of the key conditions of the Scheme is that applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. This obviously presents a significant barrier to SMEs, who may want to participate but cannot offer that many placements alone. However, the Scheme allows for smaller entities to partner with other organisations to reach the minimum number, and submit an application through a Gateway Organisation.

Since the Scheme was first announced, Pact has been looking closely at the details and have been liaising with members to gauge the level of demand. This has led to their decision to find a partner organisation through whom to offer the scheme to Pact members.

Pact decided to work with DiVA, led by Founder and Director Arit Eminue, because of their experience running apprenticeships across the creative sector. DiVA is an official Kickstart Gateway Organisation and is also running a similar Kickstart Scheme for the music industry. DiVA will be responsible for the group application of Pact member companies, helping with key aspects of the Scheme including recruitment and the grant payment process, as well as delivering the required training elements for participants.

The opportunity will be open to Pact member companies across England, Scotland and Wales who can offer a placement or placements which meet the criteria. The Scheme is not currently available in Northern Ireland.

Commenting on the Kickstart Scheme, Pact CEO John McVay said: “We are really pleased at the level of interest shown by our members in taking part in the Government’s Kickstart Scheme and we’re happy to be able to facilitate this by partnering with DiVA. Pact is committed to inclusion in the TV and film industry and we hope that this scheme will provide opportunities for young people who might otherwise not be able to access them.”

DiVA Founder and Director Arit Eminue added: “We’re looking forward to supporting Pact Members to access the resource they need during this period, and help young people, especially those from underrepresented groups, to develop their careers in our industry.”

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has officially approved DiVA Apprenticeships as a Kickstart Gateway Organisation to support employers in the creative industry to offer fully-funded job placements as part of the Government’s Kickstart Scheme.

DiVA has an excellent track record of supporting hundreds of young people into the creative industries in companies such as the BBC, Universal Music, Warner Bros, All3 Media, Sony Music, the Southbank Centre and many more. Through their partnership with the music Record labels association the BPI, they have already secured over 40 music industry Kickstart placements.

DiVA takes the hassle out of the scheme by managing all the scheme administration, grant payment process, and training and support for participants. Where required, they can also manage the recruitment process.

JOIN OUR BRIEFING WEBINAR

DiVA is hosting a Briefing Webinar at 10:30am on Thursday 21st January for employers interested in finding out more.

The webinar will be an opportunity to hear from DiVA about the scheme; the application, recruitment and onboarding process; the training delivered by DiVA; the grant payment process, and more. There will also be time for Q&A.

Register for the Briefing Webinar here.

The Kickstart Scheme allows employers to offer a 6-month placement to an individual and receive funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions. Companies can also access a £1500 grant to cover training, recruitment and set up costs.

A necessary condition of the scheme is that applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements per company. This requirement presents a significant barrier to SMEs, who may want to participate but cannot offer that many placements alone. However, SME’s can be part of a group of employers brought together by an approved Kickstart Gateway Organisation who will apply on behalf of the employers concerned.

Commenting on the Kickstart Scheme DiVA Founder and Director Arit Eminue said: “As the owner of a small business I know how challenging this time has been for organisations. The Kickstart Scheme will support the recovery of many micro-businesses and SME’s in our sector. Moreover, it will allow the industry to continue its efforts to provide access to the industry for young people from underrepresented groups adversely impacted by the pandemic. We aim to make the process as straightforward as possible, so leaders and managers can focus on their business at hand.”

Chris Tams, Director, Independent Member Services from the BPI added: “Schemes such as Kickstart are brilliant for creating career pathways for young people seeking to develop their skills and break into an industry, and to match them up with SME employers who are looking to take them on and give them that opportunity. I’m delighted that BPI members have successfully applied to take on over 40 new recruits under the scheme, which we hope will lead to significant long-term openings for a new wave of diverse young talent coming into the music business.

“DiVA works with the BPI on its BRITs Apprentice Scheme, placing apprentices with our label members, overseeing their training and managing the whole programme for us, resulting in full-time roles being offered in many cases.”

The Kickstart Scheme is open to companies across England, Scotland and Wales who can offer a placement or placements which meet the criteria. The scheme is not currently available in Northern Ireland.

ENDS –

Enquiries
Nina Fosu nina@divaapprenticeships.com 0203 189 1784
Gennaro Castaldo gennaro.castaldo@bpi.co.uk 020 7803 1326

About DiVA – www.divaapprenticeships.com

DiVA is a recruitment and training organisation specialising in the entertainment industries. They have supported hundreds of individuals into work in some of the UK’s leading brands and SMEs including Universal Music Group, BBC Worldwide, Warner Music, All3 Media, Endemol Shine, Hat Trick Productions, Energy Live News, PPL, PRS, UK Music, the Southbank Centre and more. As a black-owned and managed business with two in three employees from the Black, Asian Minority Ethnic community, diversity is at the company’s heart. DiVA is fully committed to supporting its clients to improve their workforce representation.

About the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) – www.bpi.co.uk

The BPI champions the UK’s recorded music industry, safeguarding the rights of its members and of the artists, performers and label members of collecting body PPL. The BPI’s membership consists of well over 400 independent labels and the UK’s three ‘majors’, which together account for 85 per cent of legitimate domestic music consumption and 1 in 8 albums sold around the world. The BPI promotes British music overseas through its trade missions and the Music Exports Growth Scheme. It provides insights, training and networking with its free masterclasses, Innovation Hub, Insight Sessions, WidsomWednesdays events, and reports. The BPI administers The BRIT Certified Awards, co-owns The Official Charts, organises The BRIT Awards and BRITs Week, and is also home to The Mercury Prize.