If you have recently completed a course of education or training and are entering the media and entertainment industry as a freelance, you can join BECTU as a new entrant at a special rate.
This offer is only available to those who are joining the union for the first time and who join within a year of completing their education or training. Such new entrants, working freelance, are eligible to join BECTU as a full member for one year at £60. This is half the standard joining fee and includes all services as well as access to low-cost public liability insurance.
Young Members Forum
Connect too with our Young Members Forum. Visit their site and follow them @bectu_ym
The New Entrant application form is available to download from this page; alternatively you can request a form by post.
Working to counter exploitation
BECTU members were instrumental in the 2005 TV Wrap campaign which highlighted the exploitation - and particularly of young people -working in television production. The campaign highlighted the extent to which a significant number of employers were abusing work experience.
The TV Wrap campaign succeeded in putting pressure on the industry to rethink its attitude to prolonged periods of unpaid work. As a result, a new set of guidelines, the Work Experience Guidelines, was introduced in 2007 to protect people from exploitation. This document is also available to download from this page.
However, whilst TV Wrap was critical in exposing poor industry practice, some employers continue to exploit new entrants. In October 2009 BECTU met with representatives from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (the HMRC is the body responsible for ensuring that employers comply with the law on the National Minimum Wage) to highlight the need for more effective measures to tackle the long hours/no pay culture which new entrants face. BECTU will continue to work with the relevant agencies on this issue.
New industry guidance on work placements
Work experience? Internship? Volunteer? Apprentice? Trainee? What rules apply? In March 2010, Skillset published guidance, in collaboration with CCSkills and supported by Arts Council England, to help everyone involved in the industry to navigate their way through the many routes into the industry. The guidelines are backed by employers across the cultural sector.
The Guidelines for Employers Offering Work Placement Schemes in the Creative Industries is essential reading and is part of ongoing efforts to limit the exploitation which many new entrants experience.
Creative Toolkit for new entrants
In September 2011 BECTU launched a new site for new entrants to the creative media and arts sector. Visit the site. The site offers essential info on employment rights (including rules on the National Minimum Wage) and other issues. The site is supported by a set of Help Notes on key themes; these are also attached to this page for download. Email Creative Toolkit. Follow @creativetoolkit